The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewTrevor Lynch Archive
The Leopard
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Luchino Visconti’s masterpiece is his 1963 historical epic The Leopard (Il Gattopardo, which actually refers to a smaller spotted wild cat, the serval, which is the heraldic animal of the Princes of Salina in Sicily). Visconti’s film is a remarkably faithful adaptation of the 1958 novel of the same name by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. The Leopard became the best-selling Italian novel of all time, carrying off many critical laurels as well. In its beauty of language, philosophical depth, and emotional power, The Leopard is one of the greatest novels I have ever read, and Visconti’s film does it full justice. Both are works of genius.

Set during the Risorgimento, the unification of Italy into a modern nation-state, The Leopard is sometimes called “the Italian Gone with the Wind,” which is an apt comparison, although The Leopard is better both as a book and a film. Like Gone with the Wind, The Leopard is a historical romance set against the backdrop of a war of national unification in which a modern, bourgeois-liberal industrial society (the Northern Kingdom of Piedmont and Sardinia, ruled from Turin by the House of Savoy), triumphs over a feudal, agrarian aristocracy (the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, encompassing Sicily and Southern Italy and ruled from Naples by the house of Bourbon). Even the time period is basically the same. The novel The Leopard is set primarily in 1860–62, and the film takes place entirely in this time frame.

The story begins in May of 1860, when Giuseppe Garibaldi, a charismatic nationalist general, raised an insurgent force of 1000 volunteers and landed in Sicily to overthrow the Bourbons. The Garibaldini fought for no king or parliament. They fought for the nationalist idea. They fought for a unified Italy that did not yet exist.

Garibaldi fought his way to Palermo, declared himself dictator, then raised new troops to take the fight to the mainland, where he overthrew the last Bourbon king, Francis II. Then Garibaldi handed the kingdom over to king Victor Emanuel of Piedmont and Sardinia and retired into private life. Plebiscites were held throughout Italy, except in Venice, which was under Austrian rule. All of Italy, save the Papal States, agreed to unification under the House of Savoy. In 1862, Garibaldi raised an army to march on Rome and forcibly incorporate the Papal States, but he was stopped by troops loyal to the new unified kingdom.

Lampedusa was a Sicilian aristocrat and a partisan of aristocracy. As a study of classical aristocratic virtues, The Leopard can be placed alongside Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. As a meditation on the decline of aristocracy into oligarchy, it can be placed alongside Plato’s Republic. Visconti, however, was both an aristocrat and a self-professed Communist. Thus his adaptation also highlights other aspects of the novel, dramatizing how the revolutionary energies unleashed by the ideas of the sovereign people and a unified national state were coopted by the old Italian aristocracy and corrupted by the rising middle classes. Although I am a national populist, not a Marxist, there is much truth in Visconti’s depiction.

The hero of The Leopard is Don Fabrizio Corbera, Prince of Salina, the head of an ancient Sicilian noble family. In the film, he is played by American actor Burt Lancaster, which is perfect casting, for Don Fabrizio is described as a hulking blue-eyed blond. Visconti’s casting of the whole Corbera clan is remarkable. Princess Maria Stella, played by Rina Morelli, perfectly fits her description in the book, and the couple’s children all resemble their parents and their siblings.

Another important character is the prince’s nephew and ward, Tancredi, the orphaned and impoverished prince of Falconeri, whom Lampeusa describes as blue-eyed, dark-haired, and rakishly handsome. Tancredi is brought to life on film by Alain Delon. Tancredi is an adventurous lad who has fallen in with liberals, nationalists, and revolutionaries. When Garibaldi lands, Tancredi rushes to join him.

Tancredi is described as charming, ambitious, and somewhat unscrupulous. Thus it is never clear how deep his commitment to the Risorgimento actually is. When he speaks to his uncle, the prince of Salina, he tells him that everything must change so that everything can remain the same. The revolution will ultimately pass away, and Sicily’s immemorial customs and ancient aristocracy will quietly reassert themselves. It is never clear if this rather cynical view is accepted by Tancredi himself or simply crafted for his uncle’s consumption. But as the story—and especially the film—unfolds, it becomes increasingly clear that if Tancredi ever believed in the ideals of the Risorgimento, he eventually dropped them.

The prince of Salina uses Tancredi’s connections to Garibaldi and his wealth and prestige to insulate himself and his family from the chaos of the revolution. With sublime indifference to current events, the family departs Palermo on its annual retreat to the village of Donnafugata, where they have inherited an immense palace.

Visconti’s portrayal of their journey and welcome is remarkable. The family arrives, emerging from the enclosed sweatboxes of their carriages, their elegant clothes white with dust from the unpaved mountain roads. Greeted ceremoniously by their retainers and the village notables, they immediately attend a church service. Visconti’s camera slowly pans the prince and his family, all of them studies of dignity and decorum although drenched in sweat and caked with filth. Only after thanking God for their safe journey do they retire to their palace and freshen up.

The dignified arrival of the Salinas stands in sharp contrast to Visconti’s farcical treatment of the local plebiscite presided over by Don Calogero Sedàra, the mayor of Donnafugata. Sedàra is a strong proponent of the new order. He makes no pretense of partiality. After the prince votes, he proposes a toast with a liqueur in the three colors of the new Italian flag. The prince, who straddles the worlds of the Bourbons and the Savoyards, chooses the Bourbon white, drinks, and winces at the cloying taste.

When Don Calogero reads the results, a brass band continually interrupts him. As it turns out, he has cooked the books. Of the 512 votes cast, 512 are yesses. In truth, the plebiscites were widely fraudulent. The new order had not even legitimated its power, and it was already abusing the public trust.

Who is Don Calogero Sedàra? He is the man of the future. Just as the prince of Salina represents the best of the aristocracy, Sedàra represents the virtues and limitations of the rising middle classes. Sedàra is a man of humble birth but outsized ambition and avarice, which he pursues single-mindedly with boundless intelligence and energy. Now, like the prince, a man of around 50, Sedàra has amassed a large fortune, become mayor, and is the leader of the revolutionary forces in his district. Sedàra is described as a “beetle of a man,” and his portrayal by Paolo Stoppa is of limited success. Stoppa aptly communicates Sedàra’s avarice and gaucheries but not his intelligence and hard work.

Sedàra’s wife is never seen. She is reputed to be a woman of great beauty but bestial manners, probably due to mental illness. Her father was one of the prince’s peasants known as Pepe Cowshit. They have only one child, their daughter Angelica (Claudia Cardinale, almost perfect casting, although she lacks Angelica’s green eyes), who has inherited her father’s intelligence and ambition as well as her mother’s beauty, which—reinforced by her father’s wealth and a bit of polishing at a Florentine finishing school—makes her a formidable force.

On the night of his arrival in Donnafugata, the prince holds a dinner for the local notables, including Don Calogero. In the novel, it is explained that the prince does not wear formal evening clothes at this dinner because he knows the villagers don’t have them. It is a magnanimous gesture, designed to make class distinctions less onerous on the dignity of the villagers.

But in comes Don Calogero, in white tie and tails, a gesture that in the prince’s eyes is more significant than the revolution itself. Indeed, it is the revolution itself. Although ill-tailored and ill-shaven, Sedàra’s clothes put him above the prince and his family, at least to those who reckon by appearances. Those who know the truth, however, understand that this outcome has occurred only by virtue of the prince’s magnanimous condescension and Sedàra’s social climbing. (In the film, the prince’s magnanimous gesture is not communicated, so the Salinas’ surprise at Sedàra being overdressed comes off as mere snobbery, when the truth is precisely the opposite.)

All is forgotten, however, when the radiant Angelica appears. Tancredi is instantly smitten. But this presents a problem. Earlier that very day, the family’s Jesuit chaplain father Pirrone told the prince that his eldest daughter, Concetta, wished to marry her cousin Tancredi and believed the feeling to be mutual. The prince, however, dismissed the idea because the timid and submissive Concetta is not a suitable bride for an ambitious man like Tancredi, who needs an equally ambitious wife and a far larger dowry than he could afford to provide Concetta. Angelica, however, is a perfect match, because she is beautiful, intelligent, a wealthy only-child, and a dedicated social climber.

One of the most interesting characters in The Leopard is Ciccio Tumeo (played by Serge Reggiani), the local church organist and the prince’s hunting companion. Tumeo is an intelligent and thoughtful commoner. He is also a far more zealous guardian of the traditional order than the prince. Tumeo is a Bourbon loyalist because of the patronage and kindness extended to his family by the deposed king’s ancestors. He was educated at royal expense, and when his family was in need, they petitioned the court for aid and received it. In his essentially feudal view, this patronage binds and obliges him to the Bourbons. Thus he voted “no” in the plebiscite and was incensed that his vote was changed by Sedàra, whom Ciccio regards as a dishonorable opportunist.

Tumeo tells the prince of Sedàra’s bestial wife and her father, Pepe Cowshit. When the prince informs Tumeo that on that very evening he is going to tell Sedàra of Tancredi’s proposal of marriage to Angelica, he thinks the match is not appropriate because of Angelica’s background. Furthermore, the prince off-handedly informs Tumeo that to prevent him from leaking news of the engagement, he and his hunting dog Teresina will be locked in the prince’s gunroom until the deal is struck.

The prince obviously values Tumeo’s judgment and companionship. So why doesn’t he simply swear Tumeo to silence? Probably because the prince thinks that Tumeo’s oath is worthless, because he is not a gentleman. This casual condescension appears earlier in the film as well, when upon his arrival in Donnafugata, the prince greets Teresina before he greets her master. (Actually, such behavior is common among “dog people” of all classes, and nobody takes it personally.)

The final sequence of the film is set two years later at a grand ball in Palermo in which Angelica and Don Calogero are introduced into Sicily’s high society. It seems a rather long wait, but the setting is determined by the politics of the times. Garibaldi’s attempt to march on Rome has been defeated by troops loyal to the new king in Turin. The house of Savoy is firmly in control. The revolutionary energies stirred by the Risorgimento’s idea of a sovereign Italian people in a united nation-state have been largely coopted and corrupted by the glamor and prestige of the old aristocracy and the avarice of the bourgeoisie.

The aristocracy, however, is doomed to slow displacement. They have expensive tastes and, like Tancredi’s father the prince of Falconeri, are often very bad at managing money. In the past, great aristocratic fortunes could be replenished every few generations by the loot of a victorious war. But in the nineteenth century, the usual route was to marry the daughters of the rising oligarchy, who crave the status and lifestyle of the aristocracy and are better at making and managing money.

We see the process of corruption from the very beginning of The Leopard. When Tancredi and two of his fellow Garibaldini visit the prince near Palermo in their dashing red uniforms, a young Northerner, Count Cavriaghi (Terence Hill), addresses the prince as “excellence,” an honorific abolished by Garibaldi. An aristocrat himself, with tastes in poetry, music, and painting, Cavriaghi is dazzled by the Salina palace, especially its magnificent frescos. Later, after Tancredi’s engagement, Cavriaghi pays court to the prince’s daughter Concetta. Later when Tancredi and Cavriaghi appear in Donnafugata, they wear the Prussian blue uniforms of the national army. They have accepted demotions in rank from Garibaldi’s forces for a rise in social status.

The aristocracy magically softens Don Calogero’s revolutionary fervor as well, to the point that he buys a title for himself. When he informs the prince of this at the end of their engagement negotiations, both the prince and father Pirrone walk away as if he has said nothing. Later, when the prince turns down an invitation to join the senate in Turin, he recommends Sedàra instead, dryly remarking that “his family is an old one, or soon will be.”

By the ball, the process of corruption is complete. The leaders of the new army and the jumped-up bourgeoisie like the Sedàras are feted by the old aristocracy. Colonel Pallavicino, who defeated Garibalidi’s last insurgency at Aspromonte, is an especially honored guest. They feast and dance till dawn. Then, in a detail added to the movie, Pallavicino goes off to execute deserters who went to Garibaldi’s side at Aspromonte. Tancredi and Sedàra, the former revolutionary now dressed in top hat and tails, approve. It is time for law and order. It is time to get down to business.

At the ball, the prince meditates on mortality. He is in decline. His family is in decline. His class is in decline. After the party, the prince chooses to walk home. Seeing a priest on his way to administer someone’s last rites, he kneels and crosses himself, then looks up to Venus, as the morning star, and prays to be delivered from the realm of change. A mathematician and astronomer, the prince is essentially a Platonist. He sees numbers as unchanging and the heavens as a realm of eternal, cyclical change. The prince is both perfectly Catholic and perfectly pagan.

Three chapters of the novel were not adapted to the screen.

Chapter V, “Father Pirrone Plays a Visit,” tells of the priest’s 1861 excursion to his home village. However, the best lines of the chapter, where Pirrone discourses on the nature of the aristocracy to drowsy peasants, were incorporated into the film, in a scene during the Salinas’ journey to Donnafugata.

Chapter VII, “Death of a Prince,” narrates the prince’s last days in 1883, emphasizing the pagan themes intimated at the end of the ball. The prince has two visions of Venus, at a train station as he returns to Palermo, and on his deathbed, where she appears to guide his soul to the unchanging realm. This chapter is utterly heartbreaking. I wish Visconti had included it in his film.

Chapter VIII, “Relics,” is set in 1910 and narrates the total ruin of the great house of Salina, whose prestige and substance have been squandered by the high living and bad business decisions of the prince’s male heirs and the superstitious pieties of three of his four daughters, who have become old maids (apparently, they could not find a place in the new order). Angelica, now widowed, seems to have flourished, although there is no mention of any children to carry on the Falconeri name. It is fitting, then, that the last word of the novel is “dust.”

ORDER IT NOW

The Leopard is obviously a deeply pessimistic meditation on the decline of aristocracy and the rise of the middle classes. Written by the last prince of Lampedusa, whose adopted son inherited his property but not his title, the novel was rejected by both publishers to which it was submitted. Then, before he could submit it to another publisher, the author died of cancer, aged 60. But The Leopard’s pessimism is somewhat belied by its spectacular posthumous success, both as a novel and a film. Because of books like The Leopard, we can at least hope that healthy archaic values and institutions can someday return and that, by understanding the seeds of decay, we can perhaps avert it.

Lampedusa was a reactionary and an advocate of aristocracy. I am not. In my view, Garibaldi’s only flaw was unifying Italy as a monarchy not a republic. Although I cannot help but admire the prince of Salina’s virtues and magnificent way of life, his political instincts were entirely wrong.

The prince never should have married Tancredi to Angelica or contemplated any alliance with the Sedàras of the world. He should have married Tancredi to Concetta, who because of his cynicism ended up an embittered old maid. He should have taken a seat in the new senate, not ceded it out of cynicism to the likes of Don Calogero Sedàra.

Furthermore, just as the prince was too willing to ally himself with the middle classes, he was entirely too dismissive of improving the lot of the common people, in violation of the feudal ethos that bound the most decent man in the whole book, Ciccio Tumeo, to the deposed Bourbons. Sicily today is objectively better off with paved roads, running water, sewers, and other improvements airily dismissed by the prince.

In short, the best outcome for Italy would have been a marriage of the feudal-warrior ethos of the old aristocracy with a progressive national populism, cutting out the rising oligarchy altogether. This position is actually represented in The Leopard by Cavalier Chevalley di Monterzuolo (played by Leslie French), the Piedmontese functionary who asks the prince to join the new senate. In the twentieth century, this synthesis was finally realized by Mussolini, only to be reversed by the Second World War, with some help from the dried-up husk of the house of Savoy.

When the prince bids Chevalley goodbye, he says, “We were the leopards, the lions. Those who will take our place will be jackals, hyenas. And all of us—leopards, lions, jackals, and sheep—we’ll go on thinking ourselves the salt of the earth.” An accurate prophecy—but a self-fulfilling one. It was the dereliction of men like the prince of Salina who made it so.

The Leopard’s depiction of the corruption of Garibaldi’s national-populist revolution offers many lessons to national populists today. We should count ourselves fortunate that the old monarchies and aristocracies of Europe are pretty much dead, and those that remain are pretty much politically irrelevant. National populists believe that political sovereignty resides in the nation, not in dynasties. Political legitimacy flows from representing the common good of the people, not from dynastic descent. Social and political hierarchies are justified only by the common good of society, not by divine right or hereditary caste. Monarchy and aristocracy have a seductive glamor, but they are at best imperfect images of just political hierarchies.

However, national populists should emulate the honor-centered warrior ethos of the old aristocracies, as well as their feudal sense of social responsibility, which are the necessary correctives to bourgeois materialism and individualism.

Lampedusa makes clear that the material magnificence of the old aristocracy springs from essentially spiritual and anti-materialist values. Aristocracies arise by subordinating material interests, including the instinct of self-preservation, to the pursuit of honor. Aristocracies transmute material wealth into spiritual values like honor and prestige through munificence and the creation of beautiful and useless things, such as the entire realm of high culture.

But The Leopard also shows how high living combined with an ethos of generosity leads to the ruin of great estates and the rise of oligarchy. Oligarchs can better maintain the opulent lifestyles of the aristocracy because they are materialists, individualists, and fundamentally selfish. The bourgeois ethos subordinates honor and culture to self-preservation and commodious living. Obviously, a cash-poor revolutionary movement like national populism needs to adopt the warrior ethos of the aristocracy, but we can’t afford aristocratic pretensions in the material realm. We need to be revolutionary ascetics if we are to free ourselves from the trammels of oligarchy.

Everything about this movie is superb: the directing, casting, acting, costumes, camerawork, sets, and Nino Rota’s ravishing Romantic score. I have one reservation. Not a criticism so much as a reservation. The Leopard is a short novel but a very long movie, clocking in at 185 minutes in its definitive version. The ball sequence alone occupies the last 50 minutes. I resisted watching for years, simply because of the time investment. But there is something magical about this movie. When the ball started, I no longer felt I was watching a movie. I felt I was in it. And it made such a strong impression that it was all I remembered about the movie when I re-watched it after more than a decade to write this essay. Buy the Blu-ray and watch it in installments if you must, but you must watch it.

Visconti’s film will especially appeal to lovers of historical costume dramas, romances, and comedies of manners. If you like Jane Austen adaptations, you will find The Leopard especially appealing, for like Austen, Lampedusa is a student of classical virtue ethics and creates very subtle character portraits. Thus I highly recommend The Leopard, the novel and the film. They are two twentieth-century masterpieces, which can be appreciated both as escapist entertainment and as profound meditations on politics, morals, and the human condition.

 
• Category: Arts/Letters, History • Tags: Movies 
Hide 142 CommentsLeave a Comment
142 Comments to "The Leopard"
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. This is a wonderful summary and analysis of both a great book and a great movie.

    • Agree: utu, byrresheim, Iris, JRB
    • Replies: @renfro
    , @niteranger
  2. AaronB says:

    The book is indeed amazing.

    Will have to watch the movie.

    • Replies: @Tsigantes
  3. renfro says:
    @Grace Bress

    I agree……and must have the book and the movie!

  4. JimDandy says:

    Great article about a great novel and movie. I will read and watch them again.

  5. renfro says:

    ”However, national populists should emulate the honor-centered warrior ethos of the old aristocracies, as well as their feudal sense of social responsibility, which are the necessary correctives to bourgeois materialism and individualism.”

    There are still some honor-centered of the old aristocracies but they have in modern times gradually shunned ‘public service’ because the ‘jumped up’ bourgeois have turned ‘public service ‘ into a criminal club they want no part of and advise their children to not sully themselves by joining.

    Will their ‘warrior ethos’ resurface ? Maybe, but only when the rot of our new bourgeois grifters becomes so bad they have no other choice.

  6. Pauline Kael loved this film:

    https://scrapsfromtheloft.com/2017/05/21/the-leopard-il-gattopardo-1963-review-by-pauline-kael/

    Martin Scorsese includes it in his top 5.

    https://www.bfi.org.uk/films-tv-people/sightandsoundpoll2012/voter/1058

    Stanley Kauffmann was cold to the film on first viewing but later came around to acknowledging it as a masterpiece.

    http://sensesofcinema.com/2000/underrated-overlooked/belle-2/

    Recently, having seen Visconti’s The Leopard (1963) after a thirty-seven year interval, Stanley Kauffmann expressed shock that his opinion of the film could have changed so drastically. How could he find so much to disparage in 1963 that he now found excusable, even laudable?

    John Simon never liked anything by Visconti whom he called a master forger than a master.

    I recall Sarris rather liked The Damned.

    • Replies: @Rex
  7. Nieuport says:

    As an Italian, I must compliment the author on this excellent review. He grasped and explained every element of book and film, without any of the patronizing attitude that Americans often show when dealing with Italian subjects.

    • Agree: Alfred, annamaria
    • Replies: @BiggDee55
  8. Not again. A piece of fiction written by a political author is treated as a valid description of reality. I’m _tired_ of this. Nobody believes this stuff anymore, not after the past few years of TV news anyway. Its only supporters are people who function as trolls and time wasters, and appear to be paid to do so.

    Counterinsugency

  9. Excellent review, although I disagree with author’s musings on applicability of an imaginary solution to Italy’s unification historical problem to our contemporary issues. Simply, we live in different times with different class forces & different ethnic-cultural entities. We need something different.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @PPB
  10. I saw The Leopard when I lived in New York in 2004 at one of the last repertory cinemas in the city. I went on the strength of the blurb from the monthly brochure that those movie theaters (in San Francisco as well) put out, but don’t remember much of what was said in the brochure or of the movie itself. I remember Lancaster’s feeling up of the young milk maid and of the arrival of the family to the village, but to me, little of it made sense.

    So, thank you for your explanation and your review. It seems clear that you would have not only had to have read the book, but that you would have to have some knowledge of Italian history to be taken in so thoroughly by the film, as you have been.

    I don’t know if I will have the chance to watch The Leopard again, but if I ever do, I will have you and your review to thank for it. It sounds like a slice of history, though I’m still not clear, even if after carefully reading what you’ve written, what that particular work (both book and film) have to do with my life or even the state of my nation or the world right now.

    Nevertheless, it was a pleasure to read your detailed explanation of the story.

  11. nickels says:

    I was rather unimpressed by the film.
    Another case of trying to get every material element right but projecting an immature and queer souless narcissistic mentality onto a vibrant historical epic.
    The disparagement of the priest in the film, and the general shallowness/baseness of the characters is tiresome.
    Meh Western Civilzation bad, queers good.

    • Agree: Durruti
    • Replies: @Anon
  12. Miro23 says:

    I never thought I’d see The Leopard (book + film) at the top of the Unz Review.

    But since they’re there, I’ll join the others here in recommending them. The book is exceptional and the film is also excellent, although the full length version has Don Fabrizio making some long and intricate political discourses that slow things down (although I suppose, that in this part, Visconti was trying to be as faithful to the book as possible). He obviously put a lot of love and care into this film, but it doesn’t have the pace and format of modern films and plenty of people don’t like it.

    In very simple terms, Don Fabrizio is a true aristocrat from the Belle Époque fulfilling his leader/servant duty in his own structured society. That society is collapsing, but he continues as before while his world and family are commercialized and financialized. They eventually marry into the new commercial elite.

    Di Lampedusa and Visconti really understood the dynamics here, and somehow Visconti found Burt Lancaster (??) who extraordinarily dominates every scene he plays. Visconti himself said that he couldn’t understand why Burt Lancaster was so successful in the role.

    An advantage of the book is that shows how Don Fabrizio finally accepts the end of the aristocracy, and successfully joins the commercial world himself, in a sort of resurrection, while still retaining his personal ethics. This was completely missing from the film.

    • Agree: Iris
    • Replies: @Hans Vogel
    , @Anon
  13. Alison says:

    The Leopard is an extraordinary novel, perhaps the best I have ever read in a lifetime of ravenous reading.

    This article inspires me to now see the movie.

    • Replies: @Iris
  14. @Counterinsurgency

    Too many normies can’t understand what you’re talking about until you go, “It’s just like in that movie”….

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
  15. Complimenti on this lucid and perceptive analysis that does full justice to the movie and the novel. Italian cinema in the early postwar decades produced many wonderful films, masterpieces even, and Il gattopardo is arguably the best of the lot.

    I should like to point out, however, that Garibaldi does not deserve the favorable description he is given here. Financed and handled by English Freemasons, Garibaldi was used as a tool to destroy the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the state with the most powerful navy in the Mediterranean. The English were deeply worried by the construction of the Suez Canal, begun in 1859 and determined to eliminate any possible obstacles between themselves and India. It is the English who made possible the unification of Italy through the masons Garibaldi and Cavour. They needed a counterweight to offset the French, the Austrians (both of whom who financed the digging of the Suez Canal) and the Russians, still recovering from defeat in the Crimean War.

    Unified Italy became an English “silent” ally. That explains why it was allowed to take Eritrea in the 1880s and to attempt the conquest of Ethiopia in 1896.They finally succeeded in 1935 under Mussolini, the British agent. Without English consent, the Italians would also never have been able to wrest Libya from the Ottomans in the 1911-1912 war.

  16. Tom Verso says:

    An excellent review of, as you say, a brilliant novel and film rendition.

    Both can be appreciated from the point of view of Aristotelian Poetics (e.g. tragic plot understood as protagonist change driving by inevitable necessities, rather than Deus ex machina melodrama), and Marxist philosophy of history (e.g. social evolution driven by class conflict between emerging new dominant class displacing the old).

    Thanks to you for the review and as always Ron Unz for the prominent presentation.

    • Agree: Iris
    • Replies: @annamaria
  17. dearieme says:

    It’s a wonderful book. I’ve not seen the film: “movies” are terribly overrated for drama. They are best for singing and dancing, and cartoons.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  18. Ganderson says:

    Does Lancaster speak Italian in the movie?

  19. Alfred says:

    I read the book over 20 years ago. I did not really understand it. So thank you for the explanations.

    I did not know that there was also a movie. I must watch it one day.

    As for the advice as to how the Italians should govern themselves, I think they will eventually find their own solutions. Leaving the EU and the Euro will be a first step. Of course, they must reclaim their gold by force if necessary before proceeding with their departure.

  20. I remember Lancaster’s feeling up of the young milk maid

    Didn’t he also do that in 1900 by Bertolucci?

    • Replies: @utu
  21. Anonymous[470] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Was Italy unified? It’s still racially, and thus IQ-wise, and thus everything else wise, split in 2 as it ever was.

    Southerners who emigrate to the North still frequent each other, and there’s very little mixing between the two real Italies even at the “acquaintance” level.

    Then of course everyone in the “classes that matter” pretends to things being other, and it makes all quite happy. (Including the beneficiaries of the billions spent to “bridge the gap”, along the same lines of USA’s gap-bridging, and with equal outcome).

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    , @GeeBee
  22. Anonymous[470] • Disclaimer says:

    The story begins in May of 1860, when Giuseppe Garibaldi, a charismatic nationalist general, raised an insurgent force of 1000 volunteers and landed in Sicily to overthrow the Bourbons. The Garibaldini fought for no king or parliament. They fought for the nationalist idea. They fought for a unified Italy that did not yet exist.

    That can boast the same degree of truth of official explanations/narratives of the World Wars, Middle East Wars, 11/9, and the rest of them (included the colour revolutions).

    • Replies: @Alden
  23. Z-man says:

    In spite of Lancaster, Delon and the gorgeous Claudia Cardinale the movie was one long yawn. A real dud.

    • Agree: Durruti
  24. @Ganderson

    The answer is amusing, at least in the version I saw.

    The Italian cast members speak Italian. But by lip-reading, you can see that Lancaster spoke English and then the lines were overdubbed in Italian. But I saw an English-subtitled version. So Lancaster’s lips are speaking English, the audio is Italian, and the subtitles are English.

  25. Iris says:
    @Hans Vogel

    Italian cinema in the early postwar decades produced many wonderful films, masterpieces even, and Il gattopardo is arguably the best of the lot.

    To be fair, Italian cinema was by far the greatest in 20th Century Western Europe, with 1930’s French cinema coming second.

    Vittorio de Sica’s ground-breaking “Bicycle Thief” kicked off Italian ne0-realism, and gave rise to a movement that generated many masterpieces.
    The ability Italian directors had to express with tenderness and respect the life of small people, while always displaying profoundness and often an incredible sense of humour, remains unmatched.

    Of all the masters of Italian cinema, Federico Fellini deserves a particular mention. While other Italian directors had outstanding talent, he had genius.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    , @utu
  26. @Miro23

    As I understood it, Visconti’s demands for authenticity were becoming so expensive (the lace curtains that so gently flow in the breeze during one of the first scenes, are originally mid-19th-century, for instance) that the initial funding proved woefully insufficient. Work on the set came to a standstill until more money was secured.

    Additional financiers were found in the US, but these had their conditions. The film had to be shorter (thus there is a shorter and a longer version), and they wanted Lancaster to play the lead. Visconti took an immediate dislike to him and refused to speak to Lancaster for at least two weeks.

    Wandering about at the set, aimlessly, Lancaster began to study Visconti, who descended from a very ancient and noble family (the Viscontis of Milan).

    When at last work was resumed, Lancaster could act like a nobleman for having closely studied Visconti. Actually the character we see in the movie is Visconti impersonated by Lancaster. And he does a magnificent job, doesn’t he?

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  27. PPB says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    I also agree that Lynch’s review and contextual analysis were excellent, but like you, I was a bit hesitant to accept his recommendations as a cure for our contemporary ills– though not so much because we live in a different era (although your points are well-founded) but more generally speaking because all noble ideals are rarely immune to corruption and degradation, not to mention sheer hypocrisy, when implemented on a broad social basis. You know, the crooked timber of humanity and all that, along with the heavens and the tides, I suppose, driving the ongoing cycles of rise and decline …

  28. Mr. Lynch praises the novel’s “beauty of language’. Does that beauty come through in translation? Can anyone recommend which is the better/best?

    • Replies: @Tsigantes
  29. Great review of a great film. We watch it often.

    I think, however, that true elites are always piratical, predatory in nature. There’s no other kind. It’s simple, really, a matter of arithmetic. While non-predatory elites are investing their energies in “ doing the right thing,” true elites put all their brain cells into winning, by hook or by crook. That contrast will always assert itself in the long run. That’s why I have spiritually given up on politics and humanity.

  30. @Redneck farmer

    Too many normies can’t understand what you’re talking about until you go, “It’s just like in that movie”….

    Right you are, and so we get countless “radicalize the grease” movies, videos, TV serials, and so on. Plus TV news. They should be working, Trump shouldn’t be here, but it isn’t and Trump is. The lies are looking more and more like lice.

    Counterinsurgency

  31. Republic says:

    https://www.nytimes.com/1963/08/13/archives/screen-the-leopard-at-the-plazaburt-lancaster-stars-in-adaptation.html

    according to the 1963 film review by the New York Times:

    He is mighty in moments of anger, harsh in his sarcastic bursts and amazingly soft and sympathetic when the call is for tenderness.But unfortunately Mr. Lancaster does have that blunt American voice that lacks the least suggestion of being Sicilian in the English-dialogue version shown here.

  32. Durruti says:

    Do I recall a scene in the movie where Don Lancaster puts his feet into some Cow Dung?

    I tried to watch the film years ago.

    As Z-man wrote:

    In spite of Lancaster, Delon and the gorgeous Claudia Cardinale the movie was one long yawn. A real dud.

    Nice writing/Review by Trevor Lynch; almost makes one believe. Currently re-reading Lord of the Rings by Tolkien. One of my favorites. Amost as good as the shorter Lost Horizon by James Hilton.

  33. Tom Verso says:

    Regarding above comments:

    1.) “Dubbing” … I seem to recall that the movie was dubbed into 5 or 6 different European languages. Because the theme of the movie (i.e. the dominate class transition from landed Aristocracy to business Bourgeoisie) is universally European, the movie had wide European appeal.

    Because America did not experience such a class transition, Burt Lancaster was cast as the lead to appeal to an American audience.

    2. The movie is a “DUD” … certainly from the point of view of action. But from the point of view of ideas about Sicilian culture and the evolution Italian/European culture generally, it was very exciting.

    It is a literary movie and not all people appreciate any give literary work. I, for example, think Faulkner is DUD. But, that’s my subjective aesthetic. My undergraduate literature teacher thought he was the greatest writer to put pen to paper. That’s his subjective aesthetic

    • Replies: @anonymous
  34. @Hans Vogel

    Agreed.

    England destroys everything which is not itself, and then “magnanimously” takes the ruined monarchs off to far-away exile.

    I can’t stand the film, but that’s mostly because I can’t stand Burt Lancaster.

  35. Durruti says:
    @Counterinsurgency

    Counterinsurgency

    A piece of fiction written by a political author is treated as a valid description of reality.

    Agree How can this approach possibly go wrong?

    In August 2019:

    Political & existential crisis in Italy. Italian people must decide the old question: To Be or Not To Be?

    Can you see the Novel? Can you see the Movie? Mel Gibson as the Italian Nationalist Prime Minister vs Kevin Costner as the MOSSAD/CIA Agent. But I digress. Ignore the last paragraph.

    God Bless!

  36. Iris says:
    @Alison

    Another outstanding novel unjustly overshadowed by its great cinema version is Boris Pasternak’s “Doctor Zhivago”.

    It is a masterful rendition of an exceptional phase of History, intertwined with the powerlessness and tragedy that plagues human condition. An all-time universal masterpiece.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  37. Great! It’s too bad that Lampdusa is overrun with hordes from Africa and it seems that Garibaldi was working for the Savoys at the expense of the Boubons. Italy, with its countless governments since the end of WWII, doesn’t have what it takes to get together its act, in the fashion of the Roman Empire.

  38. @Counterinsurgency

    A piece of fiction written by a political author is treated as a valid description of reality.

    Art gives us subjective reality, or reality as lived and felt. It’s like Tolstoy’s WAR AND PEACE. It isn’t ‘objective’ history but offers a better illustration of what individuals thought and felt in that time of crisis.

    Btw, is it fair to compare to THE LEOPARD with GONE WITH THE WIND? The novel is probably closer to BEFORE THE STORM(Theodore Fontane) or ANNA KARENINA in stature than the pop fiction of GWTW.

    It’s the rare case that a great novel is made into a great film. GREAT EXPECTATIONS is among the few exceptions, along with THE LEOPARD. The movie versions of WAR AND PEACE are lacking. King Vidor’s version is handsome but like cliff notes and doesn’t feel Russian. The Russian version that clocks nearly 9 hrs(and is reputedly the most expensive film ever) has great battle scenes but is awful otherwise.

    John Simon came up with ‘Simon’s Law’ that posited that great novels cannot become greater theater or cinema. “There is a simple law governing the dramatization of novels: if it is worth doing, it can’t be done; if it can be done, it’s not worth doing.”

    Among the great or very good novels that became great or very good movies:

    Time Regained
    House of Mirth
    Makioka Sisters
    Age of Innocence
    Barry Lyndon
    Little Big Man
    Lolita
    Red Badge of Courage
    Doctor Zhivago
    Passage to India
    Magnificent Ambersons
    All the King’s Men
    To Have and Have Not(though, along with both versions of The Killers, deviates much from the original)
    Moby Dick(though snobs will disagree that the movie is successful)
    Emigrants – New Land

    • Replies: @baythoven
    , @Alden
  39. @Hans Vogel

    As I understood it, Visconti’s demands for authenticity were becoming so expensive (the lace curtains that so gently flow in the breeze during one of the first scenes, are originally mid-19th-century, for instance) that the initial funding proved woefully insufficient. Work on the set came to a standstill until more money was secured.

    In one way, it was more like HEAVEN’S GATE and LOLA MONTEZ than GONE WITH THE WIND.
    GWTW was a huge hit. THE LEOPARD failed at the box office.

    • Replies: @Hans Vogel
  40. Lampedusa sounds like the name of America’s largest factory wholesaler of floor lamps.

  41. Z-man says:

    Another outstanding novel unjustly overshadowed by its great cinema version is Boris Pasternak’s “Doctor Zhivago”.

    Now that was a good historical epic with human stories. But to tell you the truth, I watched it when I was much younger and enjoyed the great sweep of history and story of individuals but I have no desire to see it again. On the contrary I can watch another epic Lawrence of Arabia over and over and especially The Mark of Zorro (1940) with Tyrone Power and the heavenly Linda Darnell any time. (Grin)

    • LOL: Iris
    • Replies: @Happy Tapir
  42. Emslander says:
    @Counterinsurgency

    I couldn’t get past the first half hour of this film, probably due to its tedious pace and attention to the extreme decadence of the Italian Aristocracy. If you’re going to glorify aristocracy, I’ll accept the British, but the Italians can’t figure out how to practice self-control.

    As for the role of fiction in politics and philosophy, good fiction has more truth in it than any attempt to represent actuality, whether current or historical. Actuality can’t be viewed in its three dimensions accurately, but fiction establishes its own relevant borders, which can then educate and enlighten. Bad fiction is simply bad.

  43. @Z-man

    Are you the zman of the blog? Please list more movies! Do a post on cinema for rightists!

    • Replies: @Z-man
  44. baythoven says:
    @Priss Factor

    The House of Mirth. The movie intrigued me until I finally read the book, to realize the movie is woefully inadequate.
    Wise Blood. A book that didn’t come to life for me until I saw the excellent movie.

  45. The film, and story, have many good bits and production values, even though the overarching historical narrative is questionable. The so-called Risorgimento cannot be considered a Good Thing, or even inevitable. Behind it lay an alliance of various anti-monarchical and anti-Catholic movements. In order to create a republic of “Italy” there needed to be a series of trumped-up wars against Austria and the Papal States. It began as a fanciful dream by the first Napoleon, and was sentimentally continued by his nephew. Cavour’s original republic may have made sense, but there’s no rhyme or reason for adding on the rest of the boot, and Sicily as well. You might as well add in Switzerland and Slovenia.

  46. @Anonymous

    South (including Sicily) is a part of Italy; for instance, Italian literature is unimaginable without so many Sicilians (Verga, Pirandello, Lampedusa,..) as it entire culture (Sophia Loren is from the South, too).

    This is just a bickering in the family.

    It is another Lampedusa I’m worried about, a place inundated by African “migrants”….

    • Agree: Z-man
  47. anon[181] • Disclaimer says:

    Did Evola ever deign to comment on the book or movie? He was willing to voice opinions on jitterbugging and “beat girls” so he couldn’t have thought the book/movie was too low for his notice. And after all, he was supposedly a Sicilian aristo himself, of the next generation (b. 1905).

    FWIW, Natale Evola {born in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn to parents Filippo and Francesca Evola, natives of Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily) lived exactly contemporaneously with Baron Julius, ultimately riding the tiger all the way to heading the Bonnano crime family. Salvatore Evola was part of Detroit’s Joe Vitale gang. Just two more immigrants doing jobs Americans won’t do.

  48. Alden says:
    @Hans Vogel

    Thanks. I was going to point out the same thing plus Garibaldi’s being an agent of the King of Piedmont.

    It ended with the King of Piedmont becoming King of Italy Who benefits is the way to analyze historical events. Not the hooting and hollering about rights, liberties, oppressed peoples.

    After the grand and glorious unification the Mafia which had been held in check by the Bourbon government, the landowners and local government flourished and took over S Italy.

    The mafia took control of the irrigation system. The mafia charged unaffordable rates. So the farmers who couldn’t pay the rates left for America and the mafia went with them. The mafia also created a system of labor trafficking so bad that the American congress had to pass another law forbidding indentured servitude in the 188os.

    I saw the movie I liked it.

    • Replies: @Anon
  49. dearieme says:
    @Iris

    Despite not being a great fan of movies I admit that “Bicycle Thieves” is pretty fine.

  50. Alden says:
    @Anonymous

    Garibaldi worked to destroy the separate principalities kingdoms and states of Italy and create a unified kingdom ruled by the King of Piedmont

    He succeeded

    S Italy was a mess under the Bourbons. It got much worse after Italy was unified. It got so bad that by 1880 the S Italians fled to America and brought their mafia government here.

    Wretched refuse indeed.

    • Replies: @utu
  51. Alden says:
    @Priss Factor

    Vidor’s War and Peace is on Amazon Prime.
    The 2016 version is on Netflix.

    • Replies: @baythoven
  52. @Grace Bress

    I agree this is fantastic piece and analysis. I have one “little” point of disagreement. The criminality of the rich and aristocracy has never gone away. They are still among us controlling all social, economic, and political pathways. These include the Magic Jews like Aldeson and Soros who control both parties. In this “play” these people like Aldeson and Soros have no redeeming social values. Jews have little understanding of culture because theirs is so sordid and disgusting.

    Italian directors like Leone and Fellini are probably two of the best that ever lived. The “school” of Italian directors never get their due because Jews control the industry. Ennio Morricone probably the greatest and most creative music film composer finally won an Academy Award for Best Original Score for the Hateful Eight after all these years. The man is a musical genius but the Jews have slighted him for years. If the movie is like the novel it maybe too much for the average dimwitted American movie goer and critic to understand since they think superhero films are the greatest.

  53. This film reminds me of National Review’s list of BEST CONSERVATIVE MOVIES. What a philistine list by hack ideologues with no sense of culture. Works like THE LEOPARD weren’t listed. Instead, there was PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, THE PATRIOT, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, and BICYCLE THIEVES.

    POH and PATRIOT, which I haven’t seen, are surely crap. WONDERFUL LIFE and BICYCLE THIEVES are great works and one can find conservative elements in them but it’s disingenuous to call them ‘conservative’ because WONDERFUL LIFE has much that could be called ‘liberal’ and the script of BT was by a Marxist-Humanist. One can say the family values element is conservative, but the social critique is also leftist.

    [MORE]

    The National Review list was petty, predictable, partisan, and jingoistic. It lacked imagination, movie knowledge, and bigness of heart. Hardly different from 100 best list you’d find in Premiere magazine if published by GOP hacks.
    A genuine list should not favor films simply because conservatives tend to like it. Nor should a movie be chosen because it was made by a conservative, a rare breed in cinema. Movies that could just as easily be labeled liberal should be excluded, like WONDERFUL LIFE.
    Also, a leftist can make a conservative film just as Jew or atheist can make a Christian film.
    Some of the greatest westerns have been made by Europeans who knew little about the real West. Each film need to be judged on its own merit.
    One must also dispense with the notion that a movie is ‘more good’ because it’s conservative. It has to be good AND conservative.
    Also keep in mind that because some of the sentiments in the movie are conservative or sympathetic to the conservative viewpoint, it doesn’t mean the movie is overtly or blatantly conservative. THE LEOPARD is a good example. Visconti was not proposing the restoration of Sicilian aristocracy. He made it as an elegy to the beauty that was lost with progress and development; for every gain, there is a loss.

    We need a clearer meaning of ‘conservative’. It mustn’t be confused with reactionarism or fascism. Both reactionarism and fascism are activist whereas a certain gentlemanly or dignified passivity is at the core of conservatism. Reactionaries single-mindedly seek to turn back to clock, to reclaim what was lost. They see the past as a golden age. They seek to destroy or suppress innovations whether they be economic, political, technological, or whatever.
    Fascism is trickier for it incorporates elements of both right and left. It combines reverence for the past with excitement about the future. It fuses the virility of primitive nature worshiping paganism with transcendental aspirations of higher civilization.
    While reactionaism, conservatism, and fascism can be said to belong on the right of the social or political spectrum, they are not synonymous. This gets even trickier in our age because what passes for conservatism is free market capitalism, the most dynamic and transformative force in the world. Marxists can dream up utopias all they want. In truth, all truly lasting revolutionary economic, social, scientific, and political innovations and changes have arisen from capitalist forces. Even social-democratic nations have economies mainly fueled by capitalism.
    So, how odd that today’s ‘conservative’ espouses the most dynamic and uprooting force the world has ever known? A modern conservative basically conserves the most powerful engine of socio-economic change. Take China and India. Since they’ve adopted global capitalism and free markets, their societies have been changing and growing at breakneck speed. Ideologically, they can be said to have gone ‘conservative’ in having abandoned their socialist or communist ways. But, capitalism is changing those nations like nothing ever before.

    More meaningfully, one can define conservatism thus: The outlook that stands for reverence for the past, preservation of cultural heritage, longing for what may be lost, and etc. A conservative is different from a reactionary in that the former ultimately accepts change even while mourning what will be lost. Reactionaries doggedly cling to the past or seek to restore it. A conservative understands that change is either necessary or inevitable even as he is threatened by it.

    Now, what sets a conservative apart from a liberal is that the former is less willing to simply dump or forget traditions or established conventions as the world changes. His feelings are more invested with the past or the status quo; it’s not just a matter of his own power or privilege; he may actually be a poor person but sentimentally attached to the ‘old ways’; in this sense, a poor Evangelical in America or poor Italian Catholic woman who feels threatened by change(even though it may economically benefit him or her) can be said to be conservative; he or she doesn’t define meaning of life simply on basis of materialism but on cultural norms of what constitutes virtuous, sacredness, nobleness, etc. Even if a liberal says “I’ll give you $1000 a month in welfare if you support ‘gay marriage’”, a poor Evangelical or Catholic will refuse. For many people, a vision of society is as or more important than economic status or power.

    Another way to define conservatism would be a search or longing for some core values — in the absence of such — , a desire to set down firm roots, to possess a moral compass in life. In this sense, ‘Amores Perros’ can be said to have conservative themes — though it’s not blatantly conservative –in its rejection of moral relativism and a world defined solely by radicalism or materialism. This isn’t to say liberals are immoral or amoral vis-a-vis conservatives. The difference is liberals are less interested in the idea of Core Values. They often take core values as stuffy and rigid or ‘essentialist’; they favor fluidity of truth(albeit with rigidity of self-righteousness of the Current Year) in moving away from what society has traditionally deemed as core values — though they tirelessly establish new faddish orthodoxies via political correctness. This venturesomeness can be daring and useful, but it can lead to a world where there is no strong core meaning to guide the individual or unite a increasingly alienated people. Therefore, there lingers a longing for firm values, which is what conservatism(the real kind) offers.

    Also, conservatism, though antithetical to relativism, gains special meaning within a relativistic context. In a way, a communist in the Russia of the 90s could be said to be conservative in the sense that he sought to preserve what has been built up and handed down during 70s yrs of communism. At one time, Christianity was a peripheral and defiant(and even radical) faith; then it became the official dogma and thus ‘conservative’. So, conservatism isn’t merely about ideology. It can also be about a state of mind, a sense of not wanting to let go of what has defined a community and individuals within it. A man can be of leftist ideology yet of conservative personality/mentality/temperament or of rightist ideology yet of liberal personality/mentality/temperament. The mother in GOODBYE LENIN is a diehard communist but also an emotional conservative who clings to what has become familiar to her.

    We are largely defined by the ideology we grew up under, yet our personalities and inclinations define how we deal with handed-down spoon-fed values. Newt Gingrich is ideologically conservative but has a somewhat radical personality. Even when conservatives adopt something radical-crazy like ‘gay marriage’, they try to give it a trad-moralist spin. i.e. “It’s conservative cuz ‘gays’ are adopting family values.”
    There were Democrats like Richard Daley who were ideologically liberal but had the personality of a conservative family man. A conservative is less likely to look down on the past and feel smugly superior to it; of course, he may feel smugly righteous with established norms(like Archie Bunke. Some conservatives feel it’s their duty to counter the rapid pace of change demanded by liberals.
    As such, they aren’t so much anti-liberal as anti-accelerationist. At their best, Liberalism is the accelerator pedal, Conservatism is the brake pedal. There are times when history must be slowed down to make change more cautious and palatable.When Liberalism and Conservatism work together, history works well. When Liberalism puts pedal to the metal and when Conservatism just cheers it on, we have the currently crazy West of degeneracy and great replacement.

    A modern conservative may react to his own ideology. As a free market capitalist, he may realize that his favored economic system is overly dynamic and uprooting, therefore needs to be balanced by timeless core values. He values conservatism precisely because he values change. Because change + change is too much for humanity, he opts for change + stability. He may feel that a counter-value system is necessary to tame the bull-like nature of capitalism. In this sense, a modern conservative is at war with himself. It’s like sailing. To harness the shifting winds to move from place to place, the mast has to be strong and steady. A conservative may feel that extreme liberalism wants to surrender to the winds whereas he wants to use them for the ship. Western Expansion could be said to have been an artful combination of liberal and conservative principles. There was the curiosity to find new lands and go where the winds took the ships, and yet, there was also mastery of machinery and methodology to ensure that the forces of nature served man than man surrendered to forces of nature. Thus, the West could expand far and wide but still maintain their ways, manners, and values far away from home.

    Conservatism has a certain sentimentality for the past, traditions, established conventions, long standing rituals. But, conservatism doesn’t have a clear agenda like reactionarism nor does it have the quasi-radical edge or the fighting spirit of fascism. Conservatism in the modern era is essentially bourgeois(especially in Europe) or about the Common Man(especially in the US). Conservatives come in different shapes and sizes. Some resemble reactionaries. Some tend to be liberalish. But even liberal-ish conservatives who realize that change is necessary may lament that something grand, beautiful, or meaningful will be lost, perhaps for good, with the necessary change. There is a sense of elegy with the resigned acceptance of progress. It’s there in MAKIOKA SISTERS and MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS. Neither film says the past was magical and wonderful, but it does invoke a sense of what has been lost, forgotten, and paved over by progress.

    Libertarian movies shouldn’t count as conservative because there is little sense of love or reverence for the past or tradition. Libertarism is free-market-fascism-of-the-individual. If Italian Fascism said there is one and only Il Duce in the form of Mussolini and all Italians must gather around him, Ayn Randism says each person should be his or her own Mussolini(and since she knows everything, every individualist-Mussolini would really be her mental puppet). Rand, as we know, had little respect or love for American or Russian heritage(or for the Jewish one for that matter though she certainly had a Jewish Personality and radical will). What she liked about America was the opportunity for growth, riches, and change fueled by radical individualist freedom. She couldn’t have cared less about American folks lived in prairie towns who wore Sunday best for Church attendance.

    List of conservative movies should be chosen based on merit alone. Suppose some Homo-Marxist had made the movie. It shouldn’t matter if the work notably contains conservative themes. But suppose it was made by someone known to be ‘conservative’. If it isn’t good, no sense pretending it is. No sense lauding something just because it was made by Mel Gibson or because it happens to be pro-family or pro-Christian. PASSION was underrated by its detractors but way overrated by the hardcore Christian community and Conservatism Inc., that also dutifully wet its pants over BRAVEHEART and THE PATRIOT. Also, no special consideration should be given to crowd-pleasing movies. Its dubious that FORREST GUMP is really a conservative movie, but people like Pat Buchanan slurped up its cheap sentimentality.

    It’s worth noting that some of the greatest films ever are conservative-themed(or right-wing) yet made by liberals. Why would that be? Maybe because liberals are artistically more curious, open-minded, and experimental whereas conservative themes are meatier and/or more substantive: The bond of blood or triumph of spirit runs deeper than ink of justice. It’s rightness vs righteousness. The Right feels right, whereas the Left has to feel righteous. Being itself if right enough for the Right, whereas only being-right is right for the Left. We see this in the dichotomy of the White Right and White Left. White Right is content with being white and would be happy to have their own homelands and be left alone. White Left is content only when it feels righteous about something, and if opening white nations to the world is deemed the ‘right thing to do’, they must hysterically go about realizing such vision.

    Also, art works through friction and tension, and the tension between liberal curiosity and conservative density makes for interesting dynamics. APOCALYPSE NOW is more interesting for the creative tension between Francis Ford Coppola’s liberal leanings and John Milius’ right-wing vision. A liberal making a liberal movie might be comfortable with the material; he merely has to endorse it. However, a liberal working with conservative themes must struggle with them; this makes for creative tension and dialectic sparks. Also, power, privilege, sanctity, spirituality — the favored themes of conservatism — are ultimately more interesting and resilient than do-goodery and social consciousness. Would most people rather see a movie about Don Corleone or a social activist? A leftist revolutionary can be an interesting material for a movie, but he has to be hyper-charged with action. A leftist is interesting for the way he tries to change the world. A conservative is interesting simply for being a part of the world. A leftist must transform the world to have meaning, whereas a conservative already has meaning in his world. The prince of THE LEOPARD merely needs to be an aristocrat to be regal and majestic. In contrast, a leftist revolutionary has to throw bombs or make speeches to be somebody. The king is interesting because he lives in a castle and HAS power. The rebel trying to overthrow the king is interesting because he WANTS power.

    Despite being mass entertainment and perhaps the most democratic of art-forms, cinema may essentially be a very conservative art form in one sense: Nearly all movies create larger-than-life-heroes. Rightism is distinct from egalitarian leftism in the acceptance of hierarchy. To be sure, there are different kinds of hierarchies — based on blood, merit, or gangsterism. The thing is, even a movie about leftists like Karl Marx or Vladimir Lenin would mythologize him as a Special Higher being, a king-like or even godlike figure. Presence of larger-than-life figures run against the ideal of leftism. Ideally, leftism is egalitarian and NO ONE should be bigger or larger than anyone else.
    But, movies make the heroes and main characters larger-than-life, larger than ordinary mortals. They give us heroes who dwarf the hoi polloi both figuratively and literally(as they’re magnified on the big screen). So, ‘Michael Collins’ isn’t just an Irish revolutionary but something like a demigod. Even a whacko like Travis Bickle in TAXI DRIVER becomes a mythic figure. This wouldn’t necessarily be the case with drama or novel. Both work on the human level and proportions. They don’t present giants on the silver screen, whose moments are furthermore heightened by music. Opera’s exaggerated vocals may be the closest thing to exaggerated image of cinema.
    Movies almost always create mythic heroes; it’s largely due to the size of the screen but also the power of editing and magical rhythm of the narrative. Now, this isn’t the case with the films of the Dardennes Brothers or Jean-Luc Godard. Or with something like Ermano Olmis’ TREE OF THE WOODEN CLOGS where the realist-setting and the way of life are more important than any single character. Still, especially with the impact of the Auteur Theory, we do feel the personal signature of the star director as a near-godly presence. Most movies have this power over us. Even a movie about leftists or leftist ideals become rightist or even ‘fascist’ in its presentation. A profound sense of hierarchy is unmistakable. Take V FOR VENDETTA(a terrible movie to be sure) where the hero becomes not just a warrior for justice but a demagogic super-duper-man of awesomeness. Or take MALCOLM X. He is elevated to silver screen aristocracy, and all the Negro kids in the audience were supposed to stand up and say “I’s Macum X.”

    Some genuinely conservative film:

    The Leopard, Makioka Sisters, Tokyo Story, Apu Trilogy (boy grows to manhood, seeks freedom, but realizes he’s part of something bigger, part of a long human continuum), Music Room (leading character is a decadent Hindu aristo BUT the film captures the seductive allure of leisure and privilege), Andrei Rublev, Stalker, Tree of the Wooden Clogs(critical of social inequality of Old Italy BUT a paean to the virtues and decency of simple god-fearing peasant folks), Diary of a Country Priest, Time Regained, Sunshine(by Szabo, conservative at least in its insistence on importance of Jewish memory), Ride the High Country, Ivan the Terrible, Alexander Nevsky, Nixon, The Godfather, Six Moral Tales, Fanny and Alexander(for family and liberalism), High and Low, Magnificent Ambersons, Chimes at Midnight, Barry Lyndon, An Unfinished Piece for a Mechanical Piano, Burnt by the Sun(revolution destroys a national hero and devours the
    family unit), Siberiade, Ugetsu, The Long Riders, Birth of a Nation, Once Upon a Time in the West,
    Farewell My Concubine, Earrings of Madame du, Christmas Story, Radio Days, Man Who Knew Too Much, The Birds, My Father’s Glory, My Mother’s Castle, Age of Innocence, Time of the Gypsies, Great Expectations, Amorres Perros, Notre Musique, The Return(Russian), Nostalghia(Tarkovsky), Metropolitan, Last Days of Disco.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  54. annamaria says:
    @Tom Verso

    Agree.

    The essay is also deeply moving.
    “Lampedusa makes clear that the material magnificence of the old aristocracy springs from essentially spiritual and anti-materialist values. Aristocracies arise by subordinating material interests, including the instinct of self-preservation, to the pursuit of honor. Aristocracies transmute material wealth into spiritual values like honor and prestige through munificence and the creation of beautiful and useless things, such as the entire realm of high culture. … The bourgeois ethos subordinates honor and culture to self-preservation and commodious living.”

    An expression “aristocracy of spirit” defines a non-heraldic approach to proactive decency.

  55. utu says:
    @Alden

    Who was behind Garibaldi? Who supported him? Who was behind the destruction of the old order or at least who accelerate its destruction? British? Freemasons? And what about the Jews?

    The British Legion (1860)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_British_Legion_(1860)

    Was Garibaldi and Freemasons on “the right side of history”? If so, why? Why no Catholic monarchy (except for Spain) did survive while we have many Protestant monarchs in Europe?

  56. BiggDee55 says:
    @Nieuport

    We now know what side you would fall on in the plebiscite.

  57. Iris says:
    @niteranger

    Ennio Morricone probably the greatest and most creative music film composer

    A living legend.
    This wonderful piece he composed for Giuseppe Tornatore’s “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso” is outstanding. So beautiful, delicate and well-suited to the romanticism and nostalgia that inhabit the film…

    And a PG-13 rated extract from the film, where the dead projectionist had compiled as a present all the kisses he was obliged to censor: ….

    • Replies: @utu
  58. utu says:
    @Priss Factor

    Didn’t he also do that in 1900 by Bertolucci?

    The milk maid did the milking of Burt Lancaster before his suicide.

  59. utu says:
    @Iris

    “To be fair, Italian cinema was by far the greatest in 20th Century Western Europe, with 1930’s French cinema coming second.”

    Agree. Unfortunately in the Anglophone world we do not know much about pre WWII Italian cinema.

    • Replies: @utu
  60. utu says:
    @Iris

    Nino Rota

    • Replies: @Iris
  61. @niteranger

    Jews or no Jews, it is true that Italian cinema was great. I would just add that French cinema is even more impressive, and Polish (Communist Polish) is better, in my opinion, than both. True, its range is narrower, but moral & existential dilemmas they present make most Italian & French golden eras films not deep enough (what is “depth” may vary for other commenters).

    Even lower achievement Wajda movie like “Without Anesthesia” dwarfs most DeSica’s, Fellini’s, Antonioni’s, Taviani’s, Passolini’s, Chabrol’s, Truffaut’s, Godard’s …. films. French & Italian cinema are more visual, “cinematic”, perhaps technically more accomplished, lavish (especially Italians) – but they depict ultimately worthless or emotionally/morally empty people, a sort of Flaubertian paralyzed consciousnesses. The characters of best Polish (and sometimes Russian) films can reach tragedy, while Italian, French, Spanish, even German … however I admire many of them, undergo no such transcendence -only a sad fate.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  62. syonredux says:
    @Priss Factor

    Trevor Lynch, any thoughts as to doing a review of Ambersons? It’s such a wonderful film, so beautifully evocative of a lost order….

    • Agree: Iris
  63. @Priss Factor

    I see. So your argument would mean for instance that McMerda is better than a splendid home cooked meal or a dinner in a fine restaurant, because more people eat hamburgers than are able to prepare a decent home-cooked meal or that can appreciate fine restaurant food? What most people appreciate, like, vote for,listen to, buy or consume is not necessarily of good quality. Wanna have proof? Just take a stroll in any street anywhere in the world and keep your eyes and ears open.

  64. Iris says:
    @utu

    Complex music, with contradictory touches of naivety, sweetness and underlying existential angst, on par with Federico Fellini’s cinematographical universe.

    Fellini was a visionary filmmaker, a great showman, and a poet of excessiveness.
    His works inscribe human destiny in its social and existential bounds, but he does so in a dreamlike universe he entirely created. A genius artist.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  65. Jake says:

    “In my view, Garibaldi’s only flaw was unifying Italy as a monarchy not a republic.”

    Then you are still part of ‘the problem.’

    • Agree: utu
  66. Forget “The Leopard”…”The Damned” is the true and only possible aristocracy of your “national-populist” times…

  67. To get the most out of the film, watch it in Italian with English subtitles. That way, Burt Lancaster’s working class New York accent does not get in the way of his incredible performance. It was the best film he ever acted in. You will believe he is an Italian aristocrat.

  68. utu says:
    @utu

    https://museumcrush.org/the-forgotten-glamour-and-modernism-of-1930s-italian-cinema-sets/
    With post war neo realist films like The Bicycle Thief and La Strada traditionally held as the zenith of Italian cinema, it’s unsurprising that Italy’s contributions to cinematic art during the 1930s have often been overlooked by most histories of European cinema.

    https://content.ucpress.edu/pages/10916/10916.ch01.pdf
    It is a paradox that the study of Italian cinema from 1922 to 1943 re- presses historical knowledge of the relationship between that cinema— its texts and institutional practices—and political life.1 In fact, until the late 1970s, most national film histories conscientiously ignored virtually everything which fell in between the acclaimed international successes of a few Italian silent film epics and the critical esteem af- forded to neorealist films after the Second World War. In other words, there was an almost forty-year gap within the body of scholarly writ- ing about the history of Italian films. As a consequence, films which followed Giovanni Pastrone’s Cabiria (1914) and preceded Luchino Visconti’s Ossessione (1943) have received very little critical scrutiny.

  69. anon[181] • Disclaimer says:

    “Seeing a priest on his way to administer someone’s last rites, he kneels and crosses himself, then looks up to Venus, as the morning star, and prays to be delivered from the realm of change. A mathematician and astronomer, the prince is essentially a Platonist. He sees numbers as unchanging and the heavens as a realm of eternal, cyclical change. The prince is both perfectly Catholic and perfectly pagan.”

    Interesting. Contrary to man in the pew Christians, the so-called Book of Revelation is the FIRST book to be written; at a time when the exact nature of the Christ myth hadn’t been firmed up. Hence, the numerous bizarre forms Christ takes in the book: lamb, Zeus threatened by Kronos, etc. In his final words, (the last words of Jesus in the ultimate text of the Bible) Jesus announces “I am the Morning Star,” i.e., the planet Venus.

    See Robert M. Price, The Human Bible

  70. anonymous[108] • Disclaimer says:
    @Tom Verso

    the movie was dubbed into 5 or 6 different European languages.

    Wouldn’t it have been simpler to just dub it in White?

  71. @Epaminondas

    To get the most out of the film, watch it in Italian with English subtitles. That way, Burt Lancaster’s working class New York accent does not get in the way of his incredible performance.

    Does the credit belong as much to the Italian voice-over actor? What is an actor but a voice box though less so in cinema where we can take in the full measure of the man.

    Still, so many radio plays were about men using their voice to create entire characters. So, maybe the voice-actor deserves as much credit as Burt Lancaster for the performance.

    • Replies: @baythoven
  72. Visconti was one of the bygone breed of homosexual artists. Before the ‘gay rights’ movement turned into Gay Rites apotheosis of Globo-Homo as the neo-religion of the West, homos felt a degree of anxiety, ambiguity, and confusion about what their sexual predilections. They couldn’t help it but they weren’t proud of it. And yet, they were also acutely aware that homos had contributed much to Western art and letters. Homos fail in (pro)creation but compensate in the area of creativity.

    Because Visconti lived in a world where homosexuality wasn’t lionized, he had to live for something other than tootie-fruitism. So, he reveled in high art and the revolution. He made films about The People(La Terra Trema, Rocco and His Brothers, etc) and The Culture(Senso, Leopard, Death in Venice, Ludwig, etc). He had a real eye for beauty, which can’t be said for the poseur Zeffirelli.
    It’s arguable that The Leopard wasn’t only his greatest work but his last great work. The Damned is lotsa fun but also kind of silly and bit too over-the-top. Ludwig is sumptuous and treat for the eyes but plodding as drama with weak actor in lead. Death in Venice is overwrought and sloppy.

    Still, he was a homo artist in a time when homo-ness was NOT the greatest thing since sliced bread or toasted buns. So, homo artists like Visconti, Mishima, Pasolini, Schlesinger, and etc. had to live and work for something bigger than their sexual orientations. As during the Renaissance, homo artists had to channel their creative energies toward ideas, visions, and causes deemed higher, deeper, more important.

    Homos are naturally narcissistic, and without something to restrain their tendency toward self-adulation, their creative energies come to serve little else but their preening vanity. It’s like a genius who, instead of investing his talent into science, math, or some worthy intellectual pursuit, while away the hours and days showing off how smart he is. For most of history, homos had to remain in the closet and serve something bigger than “I am gay”.

    But in the current year, there are few things as holy as homo-mania. Even churches fly homo flags as if Jesus died on the Cross to celebrate sodomy and tranny penis-cutting. In such climate, homo talent now only goes toward self-worship.

    Mishima was a narcissistic bugger but believed in sacred Japan. Pasolini was a weird bugger, but he committed himself to communism and the Catholic Church. But today, we have Tim Cook said god blessed him because he likes to take it up his arse. If them fellers had been millennials, they might have just been silly buggers waving the homo flag and prancing in the streets in June.

  73. baythoven says:
    @Alden

    Oh, come on. The best film version of War and Peace is the Russian film from the 60’s, hands down.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    , @Alden
  74. baythoven says:
    @Priss Factor

    “Does the credit belong as much to the Italian voice-over actor?

    As much, dunno, but much credit is due to him. Italians of this period were experts in dubbing. (French too?) Let’s not lose sight that Alain Delon was also dubbed for this film, and quite possibly others too. Just as in Rocco e Suoi Fratelli, Alain Delon and Annie Girardot, and probably Katina Paxtinou, were dubbed.

    • Replies: @Republic
  75. @baythoven

    The best film version of War and Peace is the Russian film from the 60’s, hands down.

    Only the battle scenes are memorable. The drama is stodgy, the pacing is non-existent, and the eccentric pseudo-experimental touches are ill conceived.

  76. Alfred says:
    @Iris

    The book Doctor Zhivago” is incredibly boring. I tried to read it for the first time recently and was unable to finish it.

    Apparently, the guys in the Soviet Politburo could not work out why the author was being acclaimed in the West. Of course, the reason is obvious, the movie was really a dig at the Soviet Union. A part of the culture war. Soft power.

    In precisely the same manner, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was acclaimed for “The Gulag Archipelago”. He also got a Nobel Prize in Literature. I am sure the CIA thought about making a movie based on that book but realised it would be an expensive flop.

    As soon as Solzhenitsyn came out with his book “Two Hundred Years Together”, he disappeared from sight in the West. He was no longer considered useful.

    Two Hundred Years Together

    • Replies: @Iris
  77. s.n says:

    thank you for this critical essay. I read the book 25 years ago and still revere it as one of the finest novels I have ever read. The movie was quite faithful to the text. The sequence that I often think of, from both book and film, is the leopard’s meditations on the dying rabbit. Now– thanks to this review– I want to go back and reread the book

  78. syonredux says:
    @Epaminondas

    To get the most out of the film, watch it in Italian with English subtitles. That way, Burt Lancaster’s working class New York accent does not get in the way of his incredible performance.

    I wouldn’t characterize it as working class. To my ear, it sounded more middle class.

    It was the best film he ever acted in. You will believe he is an Italian aristocrat.

    This and the loathsome J. J. Hunsecker in Sweet Smell of Success are probably his two best performances.

    Priss Factor:

    Does the credit belong as much to the Italian voice-over actor? What is an actor but a voice box though less so in cinema where we can take in the full measure of the man.

    The “voice box” theory smacks of the stage. Reminds me of Richard Burton noting how, during the making of the very silly Where Eagles Dare, he was shocked to see Clint Eastwood (no one’s idea of a great actor) crossing out lines of dialogue for his (Eastwood’s) character. Eastwood patiently explained to the stage-trained Burton that cinema was a visual medium…..

    Priss Factor:

    Still, so many radio plays were about men using their voice to create entire characters. So, maybe the voice-actor deserves as much credit as Burt Lancaster for the performance.

    I wasn’t too impressed by the vocal performance in the Italian dub. Of course, I can’t speak Italian, so certain nuances were doubtless lost on me.

    • Replies: @anon
  79. Alden says:
    @baythoven

    Read my comment. Did I write that the Vidor or 2016 versions were the best?

    No I did not.

    I just mentioned they’re on Amazon and Netflix right now if someone wants to watch either.

    Fight fight argue bitch at every comment and try to start a fight. You could have at least read the comment before you bitch at me because the 60s Russian version isn’t on Netflix and amazon.

    You just read my name at the top and start a fight.

  80. Alden says:
    @utu

    The King of Piedmont was behind Garibaldi. He went from ruling a small kingdom to ruling all of Italy.

  81. Republic says:
    @baythoven

    Corrado Gaipa did the Italian voice over for Lancaster in the film, but was not listed on the credits.

    The film was not voice recorded as it had an international cast speaking various European languages. Voices were added later in post production

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  82. Anon[297] • Disclaimer says:
    @nickels

    😂😂 Thank you! Enjoy deadpan humor with morning coffee.

    The article’s author ignores two things that make his analysis hollow. Both things are active silences: the role of freemasonry in the demise of the Ancien Régime and Visconti’s homosexuality. Perhaps Lampedusa was also homosexual; his wiki entry seems to suggest that, as well as his sudden posthumous success.

    The movie is thoroughly modern in several ways. First, it depicts the demise of the Ancien Regime as a foregone conclusion. Maybe it was so, but that neatly mirrors Marx storytelling about impersonal class struggle and the unavoidable triumph of the impersonal proletariat. It also tells a false story about the Risorgimiento. A story about Italians seizing their destiny in their hands. No mention of British intervention through freemasonry, no mention of Palmerston’s zoo, of Mazzini and Young Italy. It is the impersonal story today’s elites want to tell. History, however, is full of persons.

    Second, much like in Tolstoy’s superb books, there is no good an evil. That is why it must be form perfect. To dazzle and beguile, yet leave the viewer wandering through the palaces salons’ despondent and hesitant. What to defend? Only change, as the gallant revolutionaries know. The characters are opportunists and, to a deeper sensibility, very unsatisfying. It is the modernist, narcissistic, nihilist point of view.

    Third, no deep love story. Oh how modern. Our good prince has lands, and people who looked up to him and a big caricature of a family, yet his feelings for all are skin deep. That scene where they pray the Rosary was an excellent rendering of empty piety. Methinks the prince of Salina should have known what he had, and pray with deep devotion! Immediately reminded me of Benedict XVI’s phrase: “The world offers you confort. But you were not made for comfort, you were made for greatness.” As to Delon’s and Cardinale’s young love, well maybe in the novel it also was a marriage between two good-looking opportunists. It was Visconti’s milquetoast depiction of that Prince-Tancredi-Cardinale’s triangle that made me wonder if he was gay. And sure enough.

    A movie that leaves out that essential part of the human experience, meaning the fight between good and evil and profound loves cultivated through a lifetime, cannot but be disappointing. Gattopardo is a beautiful rendition of life as a series of dead human arrangements.

    A more satisfying esthetic experience, cathartic even, would be the unabridged “Arn the Knight Templar” or the 2002 polish “Quo Vadis”. Both novels are excellent. Kristin Lavransdatter and Master of Hestviken are outstanding also. There are a couple of good videos on YouTube about Palmerston’s zoo.

    • Replies: @Anon
  83. @Iris

    He was best when dealing with small people. His post-8 1/2 films dealing with big subjects in a big way were mostly disastrous. He wasted his entire career after 1963.

  84. Iris says:
    @Alfred

    The book Doctor Zhivago” is incredibly boring

    That is the last think I would have said about a novel which contains so many covert autobiographical elements 🙂 🙂 … May be you didn’t like it because, unlike “War and Peace”, “Doctor Zhivago” does not attempt at telling the story of Russia at a crucial moment of her history?

    Doctor Zhivago is an introspective tale of human beings’ condition, our powerlessness in front of life and historic events, and how we try to live and be happy despite all odds being against us. It is a universal hymn to the indomitable human spirit.

    Boris Pasternak was fundamentally a poet. He may have missed the historical importance of the Russian revolution, but arguably, he may also have been a visionary who sensed that a collective goal that does not account for culture and identity is not viable. Best.

  85. @niteranger

    The “school” of Italian directors never get their due because Jews control the industry.

    ??? If anything, Fellini was over-praised in his heyday. Leone was once dismissed but because even Italian film scholars found his films to be vulgar and crude.

    Directors like Antonioni, Wertmuler, and Leone were more championed outside Italy.

    • Replies: @Iris
    , @niteranger
  86. Anon[297] • Disclaimer says:
    @utu

    There are a few video on YouTube about Palmerston’s zoo. I believe by a group funded by Russians and Chinese, but they do an excellent job of explaining the 19th century revolutionary fervor in all Europe except England.

    As I understand it, the Papal States’ prime minister was brokering a deal to unify Italy as a federation, with the Pope as honorary head. But he was assassinated by Freemasons.

    Imo, the last Spanish catholic monarch was Franco 😄. Spaniards hint (conservatives wisely avoid “giving scandal” in the catholic sense) that Juan Carlos and Sofía have become part of the Masonic-globalists . Sofía goes to the Bildeberg meetings, and apparently Juan Carlos’ abdication was done just after her participation there. The king had become a liability, but he personally didn’t want to abdicate. He was forced. Whether by tptb or by his family, who knows. But some say it was decided by Bilderberg.

  87. @Bardon Kaldian

    Jews or no Jews, it is true that Italian cinema was great. I would just add that French cinema is even more impressive

    Overall yes, in the sense that France managed to consistently produce first-rate works over the years. Still, while France has a bigger forest, Italy has the bigger trees. No French director other than Jean Renoir had the stature of Fellini, Antonioni, and Visconti. And even Leone.

    Polish (Communist Polish) is better, in my opinion, than both… Even lower achievement Wajda movie like “Without Anesthesia” dwarfs most DeSica’s, Fellini’s, Antonioni’s, Taviani’s, Passolini’s, Chabrol’s, Truffaut’s, Godard’s …. films. French & Italian cinema are more visual, “cinematic”, perhaps technically more accomplished, lavish (especially Italians)

    Wajda made some fine films, but he wasn’t the cinematic master like the others. Kanal is solid work but one-dimensional. Ashes and Diamonds’ symbolism is too obvious. By and large, Polish cinema has been rather lackluster in style and theme. Its most interesting director Polanski didn’t really feel Polish and left for US then for France.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  88. Anon[297] • Disclaimer says:
    @Alden

    Vittorio Emmanuele was also a Freemason.

    If you stand in Milan’s main square, you can see a beautiful medieval cathedral, of the time when making money was not the “font et culmen” of a society. If you enter, the aisle will lead you to the Altar.

    Outside in the plaza, you can see the big and beautiful passageway of the Vittorio Emanuele shopping center. Where does it lead?

  89. anon[181] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    “The “voice box” theory smacks of the stage. Reminds me of Richard Burton noting how, during the making of the very silly Where Eagles Dare, he was shocked to see Clint Eastwood (no one’s idea of a great actor) crossing out lines of dialogue for his (Eastwood’s) character. Eastwood patiently explained to the stage-trained Burton that cinema was a visual medium…..”

    Yeah, try telling that to Coleman Francis.

  90. Anon[297] • Disclaimer says:
    @Miro23

    Unz’s has lately introduced some catholic thinkers on the site. Belloc and E. Michael jones come to mind. Gattopardo seems to me like a modern revisiting of Catholic Italy’s demise. Ancien Regime and all that. Italy and Spain are not countries much present in today’s cultural imagination. Today’s cultural imagination is jewish, Masonic (relativist, nihilist) and to a lesser extent, Protestant. That’s why Masonic France, specifically Paris, has a place in Hollywood movies. Remember Hollande’s video of “il fault passer par la maçonnerie”!

    I too found it interesting.

  91. @Priss Factor

    Well, we are all subjective. Godard is, in my mind, a more important director than any one of those mentioned. And there is a variety I don’t find in “classic” Italian movies. Even newer movies, like that of a now dead gay guy, are simply brilliant & better than most US or any drama film I’ve seen in the 21st C: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabrielle_(2005_film)

    As or Poles, there are bunch of them, not only Wajda (Holland, Ford, Kieslowski,…) & they’ve made an enormous corpus of great films (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Polish_film_directors). Even a rarely noticed film like this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Joan_of_the_Angels leaves, re dramatic intensity, most US & Western European films in the dust.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  92. Iris says:
    @Priss Factor

    ??? If anything, Fellini was over-praised in his heyday

    LOL. That was DESPITE tribal control over the cinema industry in the US, which was already well advanced after WW2.

    Fellini and other outstanding directors only owe their recognition to European critics and public, who in the context of the Cold War and the intellectual competition it entailed, had the freedom to recognise art and creativity, far from Hollywood’s commercial standards.

    Why do you think a absolute giant of the 7th Art such as Orson Welles had to leave America and work mostly in Europe starting from 1949?

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    , @syonredux
    , @Anon
  93. @Bardon Kaldian

    Godard is, in my mind, a more important director than any one of those mentioned.

    Godard was pretty useless after 1967 when he got radical with dumb Maoism and then made a series of anti-cinematic works that make no sense to anyone but Godard himself, insider, and acolytes. He’s considered important for his intellectualism, but this is really cult of personality as it’s hard to tell what he was about. Still, his blend of critique and poetry in his films up to MACULIN FEMININ had a certain edge and charm. BREATHLESS, LES CARABINIERS, BAND OF OUTSIDERS, ALPHAVILLE, and MASCULIN FEMININ are keepers. Don’t much care for stuff like MARRIED WOMAN, PIERROT LE FOU, and ridiculous LE MEPRIS(though it has a great score by Delereu). In the end, Truffaut’s 400 BLOWS and JULES AND JIM are more impressive and memorable than most Godard films with the possible exception of ALPHAVILLE, truly a brilliant work.

    As or Poles, there are bunch of them, not only Wajda (Holland, Ford, Kieslowski,…) & they’ve made an enormous corpus of great films

    I’ll have to check them out. But if there are so many great names, how come they’ve been mostly overlooked by the world film community?

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  94. @Iris

    LOL. That was DESPITE tribal control over the cinema industry in the US, which was already well advanced after WW2.

    You’re confusing matters. Interest in foreign cinema was disseminated by critics, the film festival circuit, and colleges(during the Film Generation period). And these people had nothing to do with Hollywood. Jewish film critics and festival organizers did tons to promote European directors such as Bergman, Fellini, and etc. They did much to promote Japanese talents. And Mike Nichols who made the smash GRADUATE openly praised Fellini as a genius and said 8 1/2 is his favorite movie. He even fired someone on the set for trashing the movie. Woody Allen always made it clear he is the biggest fan of Bergman. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

    The fact is Fellini pretty must lost it after 8 1/2 but continued to be treated as an important artist by too many critics. His star finally fell even with critics with CASANOVA.

    Fellini and other outstanding directors only owe their recognition to European critics and public, who in the context of the Cold War and the intellectual competition it entailed, had the freedom to recognise art and creativity, far from Hollywood’s commercial standards.

    Tons of American critics championed foreign cinema. Even mainstream critics like Vincent Canby, Roger Ebert, Gene Siskel, and etc did much to promote foreign films over American ones. And most American alternative weeklies favored foreign and independent cinema over most Hollywood movies. And even in Europe, the Hollywood product drew many more audiences than home-made products… which is why French Film industry had to enforce a quota system to limit the reach of American movies.

    Why do you think a absolute giant of the 7th Art such as Orson Welles had to leave America and work mostly in Europe starting from 1949?

    He didn’t get much done in Europe either as it was difficult to raise money for his projects anywhere in the world. He simply wasn’t a very commercial director. And European directors had a hard time raising money too.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    , @Iris
  95. syonredux says:
    @Iris

    Why do you think a absolute giant of the 7th Art such as Orson Welles had to leave America and work mostly in Europe starting from 1949?

    One could counter that by noting the large number of great directors who had successful Hollywood careers:John Ford, Howard Hawks, Anthony Mann, Frank Capra, John Huston, …..

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  96. @Priss Factor

    I’ll have to check them out. But if there are so many great names, how come they’ve been mostly overlooked by the world film community?

    They haven’t been neglected in Europe, but with American cinema it is something different. I can only speculate. Perhaps American public can assimilate only a portion of “others”, and these others – Italians, French, sometimes Germans & Spaniards (I’ll leave out Japanese & Indians) – are attractive because of “odor” of similar, yet more magnificent & lush high culture (or, in other instances, similar down & outs). Highly successful Western European movies are mostly a combination of avant-garde & seductive magnetism of European culture from central lands like France, Italy or Germany.

    What about Polish cinema, and to a lesser extent, Russian (Soviet), in their best works? They are placed on Europe’s borders & are somehow “eastern”; more, they usually depict man’s moral & spiritual drama, a struggle of men to make their souls. These subjects are,

    per definitionem

    , not popular. They are “heavy”, dark ….

    I suspect there is one more reason, a reason which will, I guess, be popular here. Jews are very influential in the American cinema, even more as critics than as filmmakers. And most US Jews being from eastern Europe, they -perhaps subliminally – have an aversion to the whole area & its peoples; also, violent war scenes in those movies (when they’re good) show victims to be Poles, Ukrainians, Russians, even Germans- and of course, local Jews. But Jews are just one group (or individuals) among other suffering human beings, hence undermining the special status of shoah.

    • Replies: @Iris
  97. @Priss Factor

    You are a complete clown who knows nothing about cinema, film, or photography. Leone is regarded today as one of the most creative directors who has ever lived. From Copp0la to Tarantino and thousands of others now use Leone’s techniques and methods as their own for their films. Leone is usually listed in the top five of best directors.

    Just about every movie today with exception of CGI garbage like Transformers etc. use or should I say “steal” the shot techniques and themes of Leone. And Iris is correct about Orson Welles. It was more than money. It was the pathways who controlled the money.

    It is well known that if Andy Warhol (who most people don’t realized was an accomplished fashion artist) was around today he would have never made it. Two reasons: 1) large loft type buildings were cheap to rent back then in New York. 2) The Magic Jews would have never allowed it. After Warhol’s success the Jewish controlled publishing, art, photography, and film did a full court press to promote and elevate their own even more than before.

    The Godfather directed by Coppola was the first Mafia or Mob movie that wasn’t directed by Jews! And the date of The Godfather…..1972!

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  98. @niteranger

    Leone is regarded today as one of the most creative directors who has ever lived.

    Italians were not proud of Leone UNTIL the international community took him seriously and came to be regarded as a huge influence on many directors. They just regarded him as a maker of good shows. When an exhibition of Italian culture included his works, Italians protested that Leone wasn’t serious enough nor reflected positively on Italian culture. It was later that Italians came to regard Leone as one of their most important directors.

    It is well known that if Andy Warhol (who most people don’t realized was an accomplished fashion artist) was around today he would have never made it.

    What an assclown you are. Warhol was a total phony whose only grace was he admitted he was no artist. He was a poseur who made it plain as day he was such and nothing more. But he understood the power of celebrity and hung around fashionable types, and that is what made him famous. It was not what he did but whom he knew and hung with.

  99. @syonredux

    Welles was really one of a kind and would have been a difficult fit anywhere. He had big ideas and got involved with too many stuff. He didn’t have the concentration of Kubrick, but then, both managed to make only 12 movies each.

    • Replies: @Iris
  100. syonredux says:
    @Priss Factor

    Tons of American critics championed foreign cinema. Even mainstream critics like Vincent Canby, Roger Ebert, Gene Siskel, and etc did much to promote foreign films over American ones. And most American alternative weeklies favored foreign and independent cinema over most Hollywood movies.

    Frankly, one could make a convincing argument that American cinema is underrated by American critics. For example, note how Howard Hawks, perhaps the most versatile* of the great directors, only received his proper recognition in France. Nicholas Ray (Bigger Than Life, In A Lonely Place, On Dangerous Ground) is another example of a great American director who was underappreciated at home.

    *Just look at the variety on display in his filmography: Westerns (Red River), gangster films (Scarface), screwball comedy (Bringing Up Baby) Musicals (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), science fiction/horror (The Thing, ostensibly directed by Christian Nyby, but everyone knows that it was pure Hawks), film noir (The Big Sleep), etc

    • Agree: Iris
    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  101. Iris says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    What about Polish cinema, and to a lesser extent, Russian (Soviet), in their best works?

    Poland doesn’t have any director of the stature of the Italians.
    Andrzej Wajda was a good director, interesting for his authenticity: almost all his works revolve around one topic, and that is his country Poland.
    His fame and awards were however politically orchestrated for his closeness to the Solidarnosc Union, whose strike started the demise of the Eastern block in the 80’s. He was much forgotten about after that, apart from his “Danton”, another film with underlying political agenda which nobody remembers.

    Zulawski and Kieslowski are average, Polanski overrated IMHO.

    On the contrary, Russian director Andrei Tarkovski doesn’t seem to have any recognition in the USA. This is very surprising, as Tarkovski is considered by European cinema amateurs as a groundbreaking director, definitely of the same stature as giants such Fellini, Bergman, Kurosawa.

  102. Iris says:
    @Priss Factor

    You don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Despite the USA having the largest and oldest cinema industry (with the possible exception of India’s), it was always Europe who first “discovered” and recognised visionary directors who profoundly changed cinematographical expression

    This applies to European directors, but also to non-European ones: Satyajit Ray, Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi were all first recognised in Europe.

    Even the most remarkable American directors, Martin Scorsese, Terrence Mallick, received prestigious professional recognition from their peers in Europe long before any came their way in the USA.

    So what are your “tribal” critics doing exactly?

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  103. Iris says:
    @Priss Factor

    He didn’t have the concentration of Kubrick,

    Kubrick was a great director, who got money and freedom on his late, more experimental works thanks to his secret involvement in the Apollo 11 hoax. Period.

    Orson Welles was a genius, arguably the greatest cinema director of all time, whose innovative and profound influence changed the 7th Art forever. The fact that he did not get money for his films dishonours the film industry.

  104. @Iris

    Despite the USA having the largest and oldest cinema industry (with the possible exception of India’s), it was always Europe who first “discovered” and recognised visionary directors who profoundly changed cinematographical expression

    Again, you confuse industry with critical community. Also, it’s misleading to see film community as US vs Europe. Film community of scholars and critics was international. So, things happened concurrently in places like NY and Paris. Also, many critics and scholars in the US were very close to Europeans, and there was much back and forth.
    Also, many of those giants and visionaries defended by Europeans were people in Hollywood. So, even if one may argue that the French were the first to fully appreciate the genius of Hitchcock, his movies were made possible by the American film industry.

    This applies to European directors, but also to non-European ones: Satyajit Ray, Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi were all first recognised in Europe.

    Again, this had little to do with US vs Europe. It just so happened that some of the biggest film festivals were in Europe, esp Venice and Cannes. But those were INTERNATIONAL events that drew critics, judges, and enthusiasts from all over the world.

    Also, keep in mind that Ray was mostly ignored in India, not least because his films were in Bengali whereas most people spoke Hindi. And Kurosawa was more highly regarded abroad than in Japan. Also, he was more appreciated in the US as Europeans generally favored Mizoguchi, Ozu, and Naruse. They found Kurosawa ‘too American’ and lacking in subtlety.

    Even the most remarkable American directors, Martin Scorsese, Terrence Mallick, received prestigious professional recognition from their peers in Europe long before any came their way in the USA.

    This is because Europeans had a more intellectual culture than Americans in general. Also, among Americans, the Jews were MOST likely to be interested in foreign cinema and the like. The American centers of interest in foreign cinema and the like were in big cities where Jews were prominent. Stanley Kauffmann wrote tirelessly about foreign films. The part of America that was least engaged with arts and culture, here and abroad, was the Middle America and Conservative America, which is why they lost the culture war.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  105. syonredux says:
    @Priss Factor

    RE: the international nature of cinema,

    Yasujirō Ozu spent a good chunk of his WW2 service in Singapore viewing American films that were provided by the Japanese Army Information Corps. Citizen Kane really impressed him….

  106. Anon[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    “ Visconti’s homosexuality. Perhaps Lampedusa was also homosexual“

    I bet you’re the kinda guy who thinks EVERYONE is gay, except themselves of course. La fatigue du Nord.

  107. Anon[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Iris

    Why do you think a absolute giant of the 7th Art such as Orson Welles had to leave America and work mostly in Europe starting from 1949?“

    Love Welles, but isn’t the obvious answer that he was, to use Lotte Lenya’s description of Adorno, a giant inflamed asshole?

  108. @syonredux

    Frankly, one could make a convincing argument that American cinema is underrated by American critics.

    WAS. Of late, too many unworthy talents have been praised to high heaven. Tarantino for example, especially for the worthless Kill Bill 1 and 2.

  109. @Republic

    The film was not voice recorded as it had an international cast speaking various European languages. Voices were added later in post production

    It was the normal practice then in Italian films to add the voice later EVEN WHEN all the actors were Italian. In the English-language version of THE LEOPARD, I’m guessing Lancaster added his voice later.

  110. @Priss Factor

    One could say that about any artist depending upon you viewpoint. Picasso also said the same thing about his art. But the world will remember Warhol and not you. Warhol beat them at their own game and he did it convincingly.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  111. Rex says:
    @Priss Factor

    I, like Simon, have never liked anything by Visconti. Lancaster is pretty awful in The Leopard and watching Death in Venice is pure torture.

  112. @utu

    Freemasonry IS Judaism

    “My father, Martin Bessel, was a Freemason from 1946 until his death in 1977. He was brought up in a religious Jewish family and he was orthodox in following more of the traditional rules than most Jews in the United States. He was very proud to be a Jew, as well as a Mason and an American.

    I was somewhat surprised, because I recall hearing rumors that Freemasonry required members to say or do things in accordance with the Christian religion and that it was not really an American institution, but I knew my father would not belong to an organization that had these characteristics.

    Years later, on the tenth anniversary of my father’s death, I was initiated into Freemasonry and am now an active member of several lodges, plus the Scottish and York Rites and the Shrine.{1} I am trying to learn more about Masonry, just as I continue to read about my heritage as a Jew and as an American. The reasons are the same, because I am proud to belong to each of these groups and to support the ideals for which they stand.”–Paul M. Bessel

    Source: FREEMASONRY AND JUDAISM

    • Replies: @syonredux
  113. Anonymous[278] • Disclaimer says:
    @utu

    From the wiki on the “British Legion”:

    The red-shirts were replaced by the king’s Army in the final siege of the fortress in Gaeta, where the Bourbon Army surrendered in February 1861.

    We also have:

    In 1842 Garibaldi took command of the Uruguayan fleet and raised an Italian Legion of soldiers—known as Redshirts—for the Uruguayan Civil War.

    and:

    When the Paris Commune erupted in 1871, Garibaldi joined with younger radicals such as Felice Cavallotti in declaring his full support for the Communards and internationalism.

    and:

    Garibaldi went to New York, arriving on 30 July 1850. However, the funds for buying a ship were lacking. While in New York, he stayed with various Italian friends, including some exiled revolutionaries. He attended the Masonic lodges of New York in 1850, where he met several supporters of democratic internationalism, whose minds were open to socialist thought, and to giving Freemasonry a strong anti-papal stance.

    At the outbreak of the American Civil War (in 1861), he was a very popular figure. The 39th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment was named Garibaldi Guard after him. Garibaldi himself volunteered his services to President Abraham Lincoln. Garibaldi was offered a major general’s commission in the U. S. Army through the letter from Secretary of State William H. Seward to H. S. Sanford, the U. S. Minister at Brussels, July 17, 1861.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuseppe_Garibaldi

    Garibaldi was involved in Masonic red revolutions from Uruguay to New York to Paris to Rome to Sicily. What an Italian patriot!

    Redshirts:

    [MORE]

  114. What is the point here? Arts (literary, visual, musical) are not quantifiable. There is no way to ascertain who is “better” than the other guy. True, in most of them, you got canonical authors or works who are deemed to be somewhere on the top. This is, say, historical & critical ranking that has happened over time. That’s how the body of canonical works, which are the subject of studies in colleges & universities, is established. It may vary over time & is not universal. How could, for instance, Chinese and Indian literatures be compared with Western literary heritage? No way, these are non-intersecting worlds.

    As for film, it is a combination of entertainment, industry & sometimes “art”. There is so much in this industry (acting, cinematography, music, camera, technical innovations, spirit of times,…) that makes movies almost impossible to assess even after a short period of time.

    One can only say a movie is a collective undertaking which will, after some time, provoke interest for some individuals or groups of people (who will interpret it according to their cultural frame of reference)- or not.

    • Replies: @Iris
    , @Anonymous
  115. Anonymous[765] • Disclaimer says:
    @dearieme

    That’s like the people who think STEM studies are harder than humanities and art studies. They hardly could hold their opinion, if they had any familiarity with, and understanding of, the latter.

    Same is with film (and its younger sibling, videogame).

    A stepping stone to the world of film, picked among many.

  116. annamaria says:
    @Priss Factor

    “What an assclown you are. Warhol was a total phony whose only grace was he admitted he was no artist. He was a poseur who made it plain as day he was such and nothing more. But he understood the power of celebrity and hung around fashionable types, and that is what made him famous. It was not what he did but whom he knew and hung with.”

    — Agree. Warhol has been a successful polluter.

  117. annamaria says:
    @niteranger

    As Dali correctly observed, Picasso was very good at destroying his genius.

    “Warhol beat them at their own game and he did it convincingly.”

    — Yes, Andy ‘s game was a convincing pretense.

    Only the US could produce such soulless “artists” as Marina Abramović and Andy Warhol. They both make a show of intellectual and moral trashiness and profitable flexibility: https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Art-Shabbat-Tonight.html?soid=1111846961456&aid=MVe7jPxTY68

    Marina Abramović’ “cultural institute” has been properly called a McDonald’s Franchise of art.

    • Replies: @Violetta
  118. annamaria says:
    @Priss Factor

    I have accidentally (and regretfully) quoted your abuse of a commenter. Please, behave like an adult and control your impulses.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  119. Violetta says:
    @annamaria

    Marina Abramović is a literal witch and child killer, deeply connected to the Podesta/Clinton clique. I don’t know anyone who considers her a “performance artist” first and foremost.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  120. @annamaria

    I have accidentally (and regretfully) quoted your abuse of a commenter. Please, behave like an adult…

    LOL. I was replying to this comment:

    You are a complete clown who knows nothing about cinema, film, or photography. Leone is regarded today as one of the most creative directors who has ever lived.

  121. annamaria says:
    @Violetta

    Marina Abramović is a daughter of two prominent Jewish Yugoslavian communists. This information and any reference to her ethnic origin were removed from her wiki bio, though they are well known. https://www.thedailybeast.com/what-makes-marina-abramovics-art-so-extreme

    Abramović was born in post-WWII Yugoslavia to Communist parents who revered Marshal Tito, and who were granted a comparatively privileged lifestyle because of their party rank.

    Suddenly, Abramović started presenting herself as growing up within Orthodox Christian tradition: “Abramović “spent [her] childhood in a church…” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marina_Abramović).

    And then the stories of spirit cooking came about via Wikileaks: http://heavy-duty.cz/watch/Blog/Entries/2016/11/4_Spirit_Cooking_-_Clinton_Campaign_Chairman_Practices_Bizarre_Occult_Ritual.html

    Menstrual blood, semen, and breast milk: Most bizarre Wikileaks revelation yet. Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta was invited to a “spirit cooking dinner” by performance artist Marina Abramovic, to take part in an occult ritual founded by Satanist Aleister Crowley.

    In an email dated June 28, 2015, Abramovic wrote, “I am so looking forward to the Spirit Cooking dinner at my place. Do you think you will be able to let me know if your brother is joining? All my love, Marina.”

    This John Podesta od Pizzagate fame: http://adam.curry.com/art/1479936436_BKKFQUS9.html

    Who were/are the idiots in academia, which have been promoting this sick profiteer?

    From 1990–1995 Abramović was a visiting professor at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris and at the Berlin University of the Arts. From 1992–1996 she was a visiting professor at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg and from 1997–2004 she was a professor for performance-art at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Braunschweig.

  122. syonredux says:
    @MAOWASAYALI

    I was somewhat surprised, because I recall hearing rumors that Freemasonry required members to say or do things in accordance with the Christian religion and that it was not really an American institution,

    What a bizarre notion. Freemasons practically created the USA. Washington and Benjamin Franklin, for example, were Freemasons:

    • Replies: @MAOWASAYALI
  123. @syonredux

    Try telling that to the normies and JewSA libtards.

    Do freemasons love their checkerboard floors or what?

    Ye shall know them by their fruits Jewish freemason symbols.

    An umbrella. A bauhinia flower. A bleeding eye.

    These icons have taken on new significance in the Hong Kong protests — and now, a number of demonstrators are getting them inked onto their bodies.

    The pro-democracy movement, which is heading towards its 12th consecutive weekend, has inspired a wave of protest art. Posters, banners and flyers have offered protesters a way to spread their message, appeal to international audiences and satirize the embattled government and police force.

    Source: Permanent protest: Hundreds of demonstrators in Hong Kong are getting tattoos, CNN August 21, 2019.

  124. GeeBee says:
    @Anonymous

    The northern Italians have a saying, which translated into English is that Garibaldi didn’t unite Italy so much as he divided Africa.

  125. Iris says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Arts (literary, visual, musical) are not quantifiable. There is no way to ascertain who is “better” than the other guy.

    By studying the history of an art, or simply by being a keen and genuine amateur, one can easily understand that some artists are groundbreaking in their field, because they bring about a change of paradigm, a new vision that in turn creates a new school and has a long-lasting effect and inspires many generation of successors.

    Turner and Constable may both be successful 18th Century English painters whose works are equally valued, but the former is infinitely more important in the history of painting. For his obsession to represent the essence of things, his pioneering painting turned to the evocation of almost pure light, leading the way for the exceptional French expressionist school.

    This is, say, historical & critical ranking that has happened over time.

    This is true for the moron mercenaries calling themselves “art critics” who, sadly, decide the fortunes of many artists. But great artists themselves never fail at recognising a peer as soon as they meet.

    Genius painter Vincent Van Gogh only ever sold two paintings in his life, and lived and died in the most abject poverty. But his visionary talent was recognised from the onset by his friend and other genius painter Paul Gauguin.

  126. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Bardon Kaldian

    There is no way to ascertain who is “better” than the other guy.

    You said Poles are better than Italians.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  127. Tsigantes says:
    @AaronB

    It is my favourite novel in the world. Not mentioned here in the review is the sheer sensuality of the writing: the way Lampedusa magically brings to life and envelopes you in a world of scents, heat, sounds (cicadas, the wind in the pines, a distant bark) , tastes…nor the subtle layers of meaning in each paragraph, each scene…..nor the sudden shock of Lampedusa’s reflections about the past from an airplane seat in 1960. It is so, so, much more than a political morality tale, as presented here.

    In contrast, IMHO, the film is an absolutely ghastly, wooden , boring costume drama – devoid of both the spirit and substance of the book.

    • Replies: @Tsigantes
  128. Tsigantes says:
    @Tsigantes

    Also, (perhaps not understood by the reviewer), the underlying and always resonant tragedy of the book is the forced surrender of the independence of Sicily…a culture and a distinct world historically separate from the mainland. This great island Kingdom is now to be subsumed into an entity of lesser value than itself based in Milan – henceforth to be misused and viewed with contempt as ‘the south’ by the jumped-up money men of the north

    Also not mentioned is Duke’s comprehension at the time of the Risorgimento of the dark forces and personalities behind this bid for power disguised as nationalism. Mazzini for one, whose last and final (posthumous) triumph was the creation of the Young Turks and consequent destruction of the Ottoman empire.

  129. Tsigantes says:
    @Hans Vogel

    Bravo and thank you!
    Let me add the name Mazzini to the list of crooks and front men. See my comment below 😉

  130. Tsigantes says:
    @Fool's Paradise

    It comes through perfectly in both the english and french translations.

    • Replies: @Fool's Paradise
  131. @Anonymous

    I said there were no exact criteria for comparison of works from different cultures & different periods, or those whose subject-matter is completely different.

    Also, there are no exact criteria we could use in “measuring” power & breadth of a work of art (I am not talking about music or painting; more about those which use narrative structures, genres of imaginative literature & film).

    So- what about films? They are comparable- they deal with people in the 2nd half of the 20th C in the context of broad Western culture, following more or less similar film language & cultural codes & imagology.

    My criterion is simple & in accordance with Henry James’ verdict: ultimately, it is growth of your inner self that matters most, or if you wish- more life. If we use this criterion, it is doubtless that Polish cinema easily outstrips most French, Italian & American “canonical” movies -its imaginary people possess vitality, richness & depth of mental, emotional & moral life in comparison with whom most other national cinemas movies are somehow superficial or empty (or, if not empty, then ordinary & “small”).

    Of course- no one should bother to accept this criterion if he doesn’t feel like. Polish cinema- best movies- is plainly inferior re music, technical innovation (especially in comparison with American & sometimes French & Italian), or some other elements of filmmaking.

    Literary theorist George Steiner has said something about these matters in his masterwork “Tolstoy or Dostoevsky?”, when he compares Flaubert’s “Mme Bovary” & Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”. I think it illustrates what I am trying to convey- with a significant addendum: no one is obliged to accept it.

    We can speak in one breath of the Iliad and War and Peace, of King Lear and The Brothers Karamazov. It is as simple and as complex as that. But I say again that such a statement is not subject to rational proof. There is no conceivable way of demonstrating that someone who places Madame Bovary above Anna Karenina or considers The Ambassadors comparable in authority and magnitude to The Possessed is mistaken—that he has no “ear” for certain essential tonalities. But such “tone-deafness” can never be overcome by consequent argument (who could have persuaded Nietzsche, one of the keenest minds ever to deal with music, that he was perversely in error when he regarded Bizet as superior to Wagner?). There is, moreover, no use lamenting the “non-demonstrability” of critical judgments. Perhaps because they have made life difficult for artists, critics are destined to share something of the fate of Cassandra. Even when they see most clearly, they have no way of proving that they are right and they may not be believed. But Cassandra was right.

    • Replies: @anon
  132. @Hans Vogel

    Your comment lends weight to Andrew Buchanan’s hypothesis that FDR instructed Gen. Mark Clark to ignore the plan to cooperate with the British to take Rome/Italy, and to enter the city himself and take it for Americans.
    Upon marching into Rome, Clark closed out all other diplomats– including the British, for over a week, while Americans determined which Italians would take power and who would be shut out of power. US effectively aggregated control of Rome therefore Italy therefore Mediterranean.

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?322137-1/discussion-us-engagement-italy-world-war-ii

  133. anon[356] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    I always recall in these situations Philip Larkin on modern jazz. Leaving aside the personal equation (we like the music we grew up with, Larkin didn’t like uppity nigras, etc.) his point (along with Amis) was that they loved music that made you jump up and dance around, and Charlie Parker didn’t do that. All the critical and academic guff about “diminished eighths” and “Dorian modalities” was irrelevant to that initial fact.At that point jazz became critically respectable, and a vehicle for negro “cultural assertion” but forever lost its audiance (even among negroes).

    In general, if music (or any art) gave pleasure in the first instance, then critical study was a fine addendum; if not, no amount of academic guff was more than elitism and charlatanism. That seems like a healthy point of view.

    It’s not a question of bestselling trash vs “art.” What’s interesting about Steiner’s examples is that one can imagine any “ordinary” person agreeing about the Iliad and War and Peace, of King Lear and The Brothers Karamazov.Those are the sort of books “ordinary” people, from Alexander on, have discovered and delighted in; add Moby Dick, perhaps, to see the point from the American side. They don’t need critics to tell them this must be good.

    A critic, or academic, however, is just the sort of person who would tell you that James’ late novels are not just better than The Da Vinci Code but also “better” than Daisy Miller, say, because of some kinds of “perspectival complexity” that’s just made for reviews and dissertations. A critic would tell you that Schonberg is “better” than Bizet or even Wagner because of his “advanced tonal language” or something. It may sound like spinach, but it’s good for you.

    Think of Adorno, demanding that you could only listen to atonal music, and wanting to hear Wagner was just “reactionary utopianism.”

    And yes, it’s just a step from there to Nietzsche’s criterion of “life affirming”. Looking at the Wagner cult, from the effete and self-described “Decadents” of Victorian England (think: Aubrey Beardsley; Bayreuth was reputed to be the biggest pickup spot outside Algeria) to the antics of the little Austrian corporal, it’s hard to deny he had a point.

    • Replies: @Miro23
    , @MAOWASAYALI
  134. Miro23 says:
    @anon

    …to the antics of the little Austrian corporal, it’s hard to deny he had a point.

    OPERA – (157) “I was so poor, during the Viennese period of my life, that I had to restrict myself to seeing only the finest spectacles. Thus I heard Tristan thirty or forty times, and always from the best companies. I also heard some Verdi and other works – leaving out the small fry.”
    Conversation Nº 157 Hitler’s Table Talk. 22nd – 23rd February 1932.

  135. @anon

    And yes, it’s just a step from there to Nietzsche’s criterion of “life affirming”. Looking at the Wagner cult, from the effete and self-described “Decadents” of Victorian England (think: Aubrey Beardsley; Bayreuth was reputed to be the biggest pickup spot outside Algeria) to the antics of the little Austrian corporal, it’s hard to deny he had a point.

    Are you suggesting Hitler was a homo (turd burglar)? LOL

    Actually, you’re not the only one. Miles Mathis claims Hitler was nothing more than a ‘gay’ actor playing the lead role in a bloody Jewish grand opera. Cf. “Hitler’s Genealogy” by Miles Mathis.

  136. anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:

    Miles Mathis claims Hitler was nothing more than a ‘gay’ actor playing the lead role in a bloody Jewish grand opera.

    Ye shall know the truth and the dynamic duo Saker + St. Hannah of Arendt shall set you free

    I won’t even go into the (deliciously controversial) topic of the historical fact of the collaboration of the German National Socialists with various Zionist organizations which, rather naively, thought that a nationalist like Hitler would understand their own nationalism and help them to emigrate to Palestine. But this goes even further than that as Hannah Arendt said, in her superb book “Eichmann in Jerusalem” (see excerpt here or, even better, read the full book (for free!): various Jewish organizations continued to work with/(for?) the Nazis well into the so-called “Holocaust”. https://www.unz.com/tsaker/bibi-in-banderastan-or-the-importance-of-words/

    who knows the sound of one pissant peeing?

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Trevor Lynch Comments via RSS
PastClassics
How America was neoconned into World War IV
Our Reigning Political Puppets, Dancing to Invisible Strings
Shouldn't they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.